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## AP®︎/College Physics 1

### Course: AP®︎/College Physics 1 > Unit 4

Lesson 1: Uniform circular motion introduction- Angular motion variables
- Distance or arc length from angular displacement
- Angular velocity and speed
- Connecting period and frequency to angular velocity
- Radius comparison from velocity and angular velocity: Worked example
- Linear velocity comparison from radius and angular velocity: Worked example
- Change in period and frequency from change in angular velocity: Worked examples
- Circular motion basics: Angular velocity, period, and frequency
- Uniform circular motion and centripetal acceleration review

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# Uniform circular motion and centripetal acceleration review

Review the key concepts, equations, and skills for uniform circular motion, including centripetal acceleration and the difference between linear and angular velocity.

## Key terms

Term (symbol) | Meaning |
---|---|

Uniform circular motion | Motion in a circle at a constant speed |

Radian | Ratio of an arc’s length to its radius. There are |

Angular velocity ( | Measure of how an angle changes over time. The rotational analogue of linear velocity. Vector quantity with counterclockwise defined as the positive direction. SI units of |

Centripetal acceleration ( | Acceleration pointed towards the center of a curved path and perpendicular to the object’s velocity. Causes an object to change its direction and not its speed along a circular pathway. Also called radial acceleration. SI units are |

Period ( | Time needed for one revolution. Inversely proportional to frequency. SI units of |

Frequency ( | Number of revolutions per second for a rotating object. SI units of |

## Equations

Equation | Symbol breakdown | Meaning in words |
---|---|---|

The change in angle (in radians) is the ratio of distance travelled around the circle to the circle’s radius. | ||

Average angular velocity is proportional to angular displacement and inversely proportional to time. | ||

Linear speed is proportional to angular speed times radius | ||

Period is inversely proportional to angular speed times a factor of |

## How to relate angular speed and linear speed

**Angular velocity**

The same letter $\omega $ is often used to the represent the

**angular speed**, which is the magnitude of the angular velocity.**Velocity**

The same letter $v$ is often used to represent the

**speed**(sometimes called*linear speed*in these contexts to differentiate it from angular speed), which is the magnitude of the velocity.The relationship between the $v$ and the $\omega $ is given by the relationship $v=r\omega $ .

**speed****angular speed**### Angular speed does not change with radius

Angular speed $\omega $ does not change with radius, but linear speed $v$ does. For example, in a marching band line going around a corner, the person on the outside has to take the largest steps to keep in line with everyone else. Therefore, the outside person who travels a greater distance per time, has a greater linear speed than the person closest to the inside. However, the angular speed of every person in the line is the same because they are moving through the same angle in the same amount of time (Figure 2).

## Learn more

To check your understanding and work toward mastering these concepts, check out our exercise on calculating angular velocity, period, and frequency.

## Want to join the conversation?

- why is an object in uniform circular motion expereincing centripetal acceleration ?(4 votes)
- Think about Newton's first law: An object in motion will stay in motion at a constant speed in a straight line unless acted on upon by an outside force. An object that is moving has inertia that causes it to want to stay in motion in a straight line. But if an object is moving in a circle, the velocity is no longer in a straight line. This means that a force must be acting on the object which means that the object must be accelerating. It is this acceleration that we refer to as centripetal acceleration.(11 votes)

- Is angular velocity only related with circular motion?(4 votes)
- angular velocity must exist wherever angular displacement occurs, irrespective of shape of the path.(3 votes)

- Why is angular velocity sometimes expresed in revolutions per minute, isn't that frecuency?(4 votes)
- well, the angular velocity is expressed by the angular displacement over the change in time, so in your case the revolutions would be the angular displacement converted to revolutions, and the time would be in minutes. Although it isn't in the rad/s form, I suppose it is still the angular displacement per time (in minutes).(2 votes)

- how to calculate angel velocity(1 vote)
- Angel velocity is more of a theology subject than a physics subject C:

But if you want to find*angular*velocity, simply divide the angle traveled in radians by the time it took to rotate at that angle.

The general equation is as follows: ω = (θ/t) where omega (ω) is in radians per seconds, theta (θ) is in radians, and t is in seconds.(7 votes)

- what is a matching band(1 vote)
- A marching band is a group of people playing musical instruments while walking/marching. Typically they wear uniforms and play their music in parades or at events.(5 votes)

- i need 3 examples of circular motion please help me!!(0 votes)
- The orbit of the moon is close. Twirling an object at the end of a string. Race cars driving in a circle. Roller coaster going in a loop.(10 votes)

- if you divide velocity (m/s) by the radius (m) you get the angular velocity which is measured (rad/s), is that right ?

(m/s) / (m) = rad/s ?(2 votes)- Yes, that is correct! Rads are units to express the central angle(1 vote)

- isn't v=
**cross product**of*r and w*?? then why is v given as speed instead of velocity??(2 votes) - To move a body in a circle which of th following forces in neend(0 votes)
- For an object to be moving in circular motion, there has to be a net force towards the centre of the circle as the acceleration is towards the centre of the circle.(3 votes)

- I feel weird about the sentence "The same letter omega is often used to the represent the angular speed, which is the magnitude of the angular velocity.".(1 vote)
- The same letter is used, but
**angular velocity**is a**vector quantity**- ie: it has a direction AND a magnitude - and it is denoted by omega with a vector sign on top, while**angular speed**is a**scalar quantity**- ie: it only has a magnitude, and it is denoted with no sign on top. Since in the case of angular measures, the only direction is +ve or -ve, in effect angular speed is the absolute value of angular velocity. Hope this helps....(1 vote)