Lectures in Physics

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Physics 1 – Mechanics and Heat
Lecture Notes
Prepared by:

Lesson 5

Uniform Circular Motion – an object moves at a constant speed along a circular path.

Velocity is always tangent to the path in circular motion. Speed is constant, velocity is not.

Centripetal Acceleration, – acceleration that maintains the object along a circular path directed towards the center. Also called as radial acceleration.
In 1673, Christian Huygens, determined the following relationships.


Where, r = radius of curvature/path, t = time/period.

Frequency (f) – number of revolutions of cycle completed per unit time.


Expressing centripetal acceleration in terms of frequency,

In terms of period,

It takes a merry-go-round moves 30 seconds to complete one revolution, what is the velocity of the child on top of a horse found 3 meters away from the center? Given:
r = 3 meters
t = 30 seconds
v = ?


A micro compact disc (CD) is 6 cm in diameter. If a drive spins uniformly at 300 revolutions per minute, what is the acceleration in m/s2 of a particle of dirt found along the edge? Given:
d = 6 cm
f = 300 rev/min.
ac = ?

Centripetal and Centrifugal Forces

Centripetal Force – is the force (real force) on the body towards the center of rotation when a body is moving around a curved path.

Centrifugal Force – is the force (apparent force) on the body directed away from the center of rotation when a body is moving around a curved path.

Where, m = mass in kg, VT = tangential velocity in m/s,
r = radius of curvature

An automobile weighs 1500 kg. If this car is driven around a curve, which has a radius of 250 m at the rate of 45 m/s, what is the centripetal force of the road on the automobile? Given:
m = 1500 kg
r = 250 m
VT = 45 m/s
Fc = ?

Banking of Highway Curves
In order for the weight of the car to help the frictional force resist the centrifugal force, banking of highway curve is necessary. Once banked, a car can move at higher speed due to bigger resistance of the centrifugal force.

The ideal angle of banking, θ may be calculated using,

For greater velocity (w/ friction)

Where, , = angle of friction
= coefficient of friction

What is the angle of banking of an elevated highway curve if a car is moving at a speed of 35 kph when the radius of the curve is 50m. Given:
v = 35 kph
r = 50 m
θ = ?

Determine the velocity of a car running at a 100 elevated highway with a 25 m radius of path. The coefficient of friction between the tire and the road is 0.93. Given:
r = 25 m
θ = 100
µ = 0.93
v = ?

Rotation – is a motion along a circular path.

S = linear distance in meters
V = linear velocity in m/s
a = linear acceleration in m/s2
θ = angular distance in radians
ω = angular velocity in radians/sec
α = angular acceleration in radians/s2

For variable angular acceleration, the following formulas may be used.

ω0 = initial angular velocity
ω = final angular velocity
θ = angular distance
α = angular acceleration
t = time

Angular displacement (θ) – is the angle through which a rigid object rotates about a fixed axis. SI unit: radian(rad)

Radian – is the SI unit of displacement defined as the circular arc length (S) traveled by point of a rotating body divided by the distance (r) of the point from the axis.

2π rad = 360 degrees = 1 rev

Average angular velocity (ωave) – is the angular displacement of an object divided by the time elapse. SI unit: rad/sec...
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