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The point or line that is the center of the circle is the axis of rotation. If the axis of rotation is inside the object, the object is rotating (spinning). If the axis of rotation is outside the object, the object is revolving.

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Things that turn have both a Linear Velocity and an Angular Velocity…

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Objects moving in a circle still have a linear velocity = distance/time. This is often called tangential velocity, since the direction of the linear velocity is tangent to the circle. v

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Objects moving in a circle also have a rotational or angular velocity, which is the rate angular position changes. Rotational velocity is measured in degrees/second, rotations/minute (rpm), etc. Common symbol, (Greek letter omega )

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Linear Velocity is distance/time: Angular Velocity is turn/time: Definition: Ex. 55 mph The most common unit is RPM. Ex. 3000 rev/min

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Rotational velocity = Change in angle time

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If an object is rotating: All points on the object have the same rotational (angular) velocity. All points on the object do not have the same linear (tangential) velocity.

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Linear velocity of a point depends on : The rotational velocity of the point. More rotational velocity means more linear velocity. The distance from the point to the axis of rotation. More distance from the axis means more linear velocity.

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In symbols: v = r v r

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As an object moves around a circle, its direction of motion is constantly changing. Therefore its velocity is changing. Therefore an object moving in a circle is constantly accelerating.

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The acceleration of an object moving in a circle points toward the center of the circle. This is called a centripetal (center pointing) acceleration. a

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The centripetal acceleration depends on: The speed of the object. The radius of the circle. A cent = v2v2 r

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Newton’s Second Law says that if an object is accelerating, there must be a net force on it. For an object moving in a circle, this is called the centripetal force. The centripetal force points toward the center of the circle.

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In order to make an object revolve about an axis, the net force on the object must pull it toward the center of the circle. This force is called a centripetal (center seeking) force. F net

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Centripetal force on an object depends on : The object’s mass - more mass means more force. The object’s speed - more speed means more force. And…

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The centripetal force on an object also depends on: The object’s distance from the axis (radius). If linear velocity is held constant, more distance requires less force. If rotational velocity is held constant, more distance requires more force.

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In symbols: F cent = mv 2 r = mr 2

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Since the centripetal force on an object is always perpendicular to the object’s velocity, the centripetal force never does work on the object - no energy is transformed. v F cent

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“Centrifugal force” is a fictitious force - it is not an interaction between 2 objects, and therefore not a real force. Nothing pulls an object away from the center of the circle.

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What is erroneously attributed to “centrifugal force” is actually the action of the object’s inertia - whatever velocity it has (speed + direction) it wants to keep.

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