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Physics (9PH01)

Unit 4: Physics on the Move

Centripetal Acceleration 1. The rate of change of velocity is called as centripetal acceleration, a c .


Circular motion

Diagram 1

, v Diagram 2 Change of speed

2. From diagram 1, the linear velocity v A and vB are equal magnitude but different direction. 3. Consider vector diagram in diagram 2, let RQ and PQ represent the magnitudes and direction of v A and vB respectively, the change of velocity, v = v B v A = PQ RQ = PQ + QR = PR 4. When PQR is small, we approximate that the direction of PR is toward the centre of the circle, O . v PR 5. Hence, acceleration, a = = t t 6. Consider PQR , if PQR is small, then PR v
a= PR v = = v since = t t t

v2 = r 2 ac = v = r

Reference: Advanced Level Physics, 7th Edition, Nelkon and Parker.