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Rotational Motion

So far, we have described translational motion using the equations of uniform motion. The variables were In rotational mechanics, we describe motion which is spinning (rotating). The variables and equations for rotational motion work in the same way as those in translational motion. Translational Motion Rotational Motion


Note: We use

instead of .




Radial acceleration: acts toward the centre for uniform circular motion

In general, when an object accelerates tangentially and radially, :

5. 6.


For a particle of mass

( ) a distance from the rotational axis, the moment of inertia is Note: moment is another word for torque .


In general,

for solid bodies,

Here are some moments of inertia for various bodies:

Question 1: The disc rotates with a period of 0.5 s. Calculate a) the linear velocity of b) the angular velocity of and . and .

c) the acceleration of


assuming uniform circular motion.

Question 2: In a lab, a centrifuge rotor accelerates from rest to 20 000 rpm in 5 min. Calculate the angular acceleration and the number of revolutions made in that 5 min. ( )

Question 3: Determine the moment of inertia of the system below:

For further questions on dynamics and energy, refer to Ex. 8-12, 8-13, and 8-14 on p. 224-226.