Circular Motion


  • Explain and apply the concepts of centripetal acceleration and centripetal force as applied to uniform horizontal circular motion and vertical circular motion, including applying the relationships:

circular motion equations

Circular Motion

  • When an object moves around a central point
  • Constant speed and radius
  • Velocity constantly changes as direction constantly changes
  • Change in v = acceleration towards centre

Vector diagram:
vector circle motion

Centripetal force

  • Is the force directed towards the centre of rotation
  • It keeps the object spinning around the centre rather than flying off

Centrifugal force is the apparent outwards force that an object feels as it travels in a circular motion. This is not an actual force, but is caused by inertia opposing the centripetal force.

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