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Motion in a circle

7. Motion in a Circle Content 7.1 Kinematics of uniform circular motion 7.2 Centripetal acceleration 7.3 Centripetal force Learning Outcomes (a) express angular displacement in radians. (b) understand and use the concept of angular velocity to solve problems. (c) recall and use v = r to solve problems. * (d) describe qualitatively motion in a curved path due to a perpendicular force, and understand the centripetal acceleration in the case of uniform motion in a circle. (e) recall and use centripetal acceleration a = r2 , a = v2/r. 1 (f) recall and use centripetal force F = m r2 , F = mv2/r.

Linear Quantities
We began our study of linear motion by describing where something was relative to an origin.

Rotational Quantities

In a similar way, for rotational motion, we can describe how far something has rotated by telling how far it has rotated relative to an origin or a reference line.
One degree by tradition equal to the angle of a circle divided by 360 One radian (rad) is defined as the angle subtended at the centre of a circle by an arc equal to the radius i.e = length of arc(s)/radius of circle(r) , s = r

Angular Velocity

When we studied linear motion, we immediately asked how fast an object is moving. Likewise, we can now ask how fast something is rotating. We call this the angular velocity and use the Greek letter omega to indicate it Angular speed , is defined as the angle swept out by the radius per second. Angular velocity is the angular speed in a given direction

unit: rad/s

Angular Acceleration
In linear motion, how fast linear velocity is changing is the linear acceleration, a
Likewise, how fast angular velocity is changing is called the angular acceleration and we use the Greek letter alpha to indicate it

unit: rad/s

Rotational Kinematics
We have now defined angle, angular velocity, and angular acceleration exactly in the same way that we defined their linear analogues, displacement, velocity, and acceleration:

Unit: rad/s

Unit: m/s

Unit: rad/s

Unit: m/s

Angular Kinematic Equation

When we studied linear motion, we derived the "big three Kinematics Equations":

Linear Kinematic Equation

Angular Kinematic Equation

Linear vs Angular quantities

v = s/t = r/t = r since s = r, and dividing both sides by t
a = v/t = r/t = r a = v/r = r, (we shall derive this a little later)

The drum of a spin dryer has a radius of 20 cm and rotates at 600 revolutions per minute (rpm). a) show that the angular speed of the drum is about 63 rad/s b) calculate for a point on the edge of the drum i) its linear speed ii) its acceleration towards the centre of the drum Solution a) 600 rpm is 10 revolutions per second. The time for 1 rev is 0.10 s. Each rev is 2 rad, so the angular speed = /t = 2/0.10 = 63 rad/s b) i) v = r =0.20 x 63 = 12.6 m/s ii) a = v2/r = (12.6)2/0.20 = 800 m/s


A rotational force, also known as a torque, depends upon the force and where that force is applied torque = moment arm x force. Moment arm is defined as the perpendicular distance from the axis of rotation to the line of action of the force =(rsin)F = rFsin SI unit for torque is m.N


Moment Arm


What can have a steady speed but a changing velocity? What accelerates towards something, yet never gets closer to it? Does velocity need to get bigger or smaller in order to change? If the speed is constant, does it always mean that there is no acceleration?


Circular Motion
An object moves in a straight line if the net force on it acts in the direction of motion, or the net force is zero. If a net force acts at an angle to the direction of motion, then the object will move in a curved path. If a net force always acts at an angle perpendicular to the velocity, then the object will move in a circular motion.


Uniform Circular Motion

Uniform circular motion is the motion of an object moving in a perfect circle with a constant or uniform speed.


Uniform Circular Motion

Uniform circular motion is one of many forms of rotational motion which moves at a constant speed. An object moving in uniform circular motion would cover the same linear distance in each second of time. When moving in a circle, an object traverses a distance around the perimeter of the circle.


Uniform Circular Motion

If your car were to move in a circle with a constant speed of 5 m/s, then the car would travel 5 meters along the perimeter of the circle in each second of time.
R - Radius T - Period


Period & Frequency


Speed vs Velocity

Objects moving with uniform circular motion will have a constant speed. But does this mean that they will have a constant velocity? Speed and velocity refer to two distinctly different quantities. Speed is a scalar quantity and velocity is a vector quantity. Velocity, being a vector, has both a magnitude and a direction.


Direction of Velocity
The magnitude of the velocity vector is the instantaneous speed of the object.
The direction of the velocity vector at any instant is in the direction of a tangent line

drawn to the circle at the object's location


Direction of Velocity

Tangent - VA is 90 with OA

Tangent - VB is 90 with OB


Circular Motion Acceleration

An object moving in uniform circular motion is moving in a circle with uniform or constant speed. The magnitude of the velocity remains constant but the direction of the velocity continuously changes as the object moves in a circle. A change in direction of velocity constitutes an acceleration just as the change of magnitude of velocity does.


Circular Motion Acceleration

For this reason, it can be safely concluded that an object moving in a circle at constant speed is indeed accelerating. It is accelerating because the direction of the velocity vector is changing. This acceleration is known as Centripetal Acceleration or Radial Acceleration What is the magnitude and direction? Given, definition of a = v/t


Direction of Centripetal Acceleration


Magnitude of Centripetal Acceleration


Centripetal Force

An object moving in a circle experiences an acceleration ie a = v2/r = 2r According to Newton's second law of motion, an object which experiences an acceleration must also be experiencing a net force. Hence F = mv2/r F is directly proportional to the mass and velocity squared and inversely proportional to the radius The direction of the net force is in the same direction as the acceleration which is directed towards the center of the circle. If the string holding a ball in circular motion breaks, the force is removed and the ball does exactly what Newton's 1st law predicts The ball is not flung outwards The force needed to keep an object in a circular path depends on the mass, speed and radius

Centripetal Force
This net force is known as Centripetal Force
Centripetal force is not a new type a force. The word centripetal means center-seeking whereby the force points toward the center of the circle. The centripetal force may be due to gravity, the tension in a string etc.


Examples of Circular Motion

Centripetal force in the following scenarios.

Car Making a Turn

A bucket spun in a circle

Moon Orbiting the Earth


Vertical Circular Motion


Vertical Circular Motion


An aircraft in a display team makes a turn in a horizontal circle of radius 500 m. It is travelling at a speed of 100 m/s. Calculate a) the cetripetal acceleration of the aircraft b) the centripetal force acting on the pilot if the mass of the pilot is 80 kg. Solution a) a = v2/r = 20 m/s b) F = ma = 1600 N


Example 1
A 900 kg car moving at 10 m/s takes a turn around a circle with a radius of 25.0 m. Determine the acceleration and the net force acting upon the car.
(Answer: a = 4 m/s, Fnet = 3600 N)


Example 2
A 95 kg half-back makes a turn on the football field. The half-back sweeps out a path which is a portion of a circle with a radius of 12 meters. The half-back makes a quarter of a turn around the circle in 2.1 seconds. Determine the speed, acceleration and net force acting upon the half-back.
(Answer: v = 8.97 m/s, a = 6.71 m/s, Fnet = 637 N)


Example 3
A Lincoln Continental and a Yugo are making a turn. The Lincoln is four times more massive than the Yugo. If they make the turn at the same speed, then how do the centripetal forces acting upon the two cars compare? Explain.


Example 4
Determine the centripetal force acting upon a 40 kg child who makes 10 revolutions around the Cliffhanger in 29.3 seconds. The radius of the barrel is 2.90 meters.
(Answer: Fnet = 533 N)


Banked Curved


Banked Curve

Without friction, the roadway still exerts a normal force n perpendicular to its surface. And the downward force of the weight w = mg is present. Those two forces add as vectors to provide a resultant or net force Fnet which points towards the center of the circle; this is the centripetal force.


Banked Curve
This gives the angle necessary for a banked curve that will allow a car to travel in a curve of radius r with constant speed v and require no friction force.
All of the force required for the circular motion is provided by the horizontal component of the normal force A banked curve is designed for one specific speed. If the banked curve is icy so there is no frictional force at all then travelling at higher than design speed means the car will slide out, up, and over the edge Travelling at lower than design speed means the car will slide in, down, and off the bank.


Banked Curve


Referring to the last figure, because there is no vertical motion of the vehicle, the vertical component of the normal force must be equal and opposite to the weight of the vehicle i.e n cos = mg But the force providing the centripetal acceleration is given by Fc = mac = mv2/r All this force is now provided by the horizontal component of the normal force n sin = mv2/r but tan = n sin /n cos = mv2/rmg = v2/g hence tan = v2/g

A bend of radius 300 m is to be constructed on a freeway where the maximum speed is 100 kph. Determine the banking angle necessary such that for a car travelling at 90 kph there is no reliance on friction to provide the force necessary for the centripetal acceleration. Solution v = 90 kph = 25 ms-1 tan = v2/rg = 0.2129 = 12.0


The Daytona International Speedway at Daytona Beach Florida, USA has bends of radius 305 m which are banked at an angle of 31. 1) At what speed should a NASCAR racing car travel around these bends so that there is no reliance on frictional force to provide the force necessary to cause the centripetal acceleration? Give your answer in kph 2) Racing cars often travel around these bends in the vicinity of 250 kph (70 m/s). If the mass of such a car is 800 kg, what is the frictional force between the tyres and the track if it is travelling around the bend at 70 m/s?


1) 2) tan = v2/g, therefore v = 153 kph force required to provide the centripetal force is Fc = mac = mv2/r = 12,852 N
The vertical component of the normal force is balanced out by the weight of the car since, n cos = mg The horizontal component of the normal force is n sin = mg/cos x sin = mg tan = 4711 N Therefore the frictional force FFr required is FFr = 12852 4711 = 8140 N