Join the ladybug in an exploration of rotational motion. Rotate the merry-go-round to change its angle, or choose a constant angular velocity or angular acceleration. Explore how circular motion relates to the bug's x,y position, velocity, and acceleration using vectors or graphs.
Section summary
Uniform circular motion is motion in a circle at constant speed. The rotation angle
$\text{\Delta}\theta $ is defined as the ratio of the arc length to the radius of curvature:
where arc length
$\text{\Delta}s$ is distance traveled along a circular path and
$r$ is the radius of curvature of the circular path. The quantity
$\text{\Delta}\theta $ is measured in units of radians (rad), for which
where a rotation
$\text{\Delta}\theta $ takes place in a time
$\text{\Delta}t$ . The units of angular velocity are radians per second (rad/s). Linear velocity
$v$ and angular velocity
$\omega $ are related by
There is an analogy between rotational and linear physical quantities. What rotational quantities are analogous to distance and velocity?
Problem exercises
Semi-trailer trucks have an odometer on one hub of a trailer wheel. The hub is weighted so that it does not rotate, but it contains gears to count the number of wheel revolutions—it then calculates the distance traveled. If the wheel has a 1.15 m diameter and goes through 200,000 rotations, how many kilometers should the odometer read?
723 km
Microwave ovens rotate at a rate of about 6 rev/min. What is this in revolutions per second? What is the angular velocity in radians per second?
An automobile with 0.260 m radius tires travels 80,000 km before wearing them out. How many revolutions do the tires make, neglecting any backing up and any change in radius due to wear?
(a) What is the period of rotation of Earth in seconds? (b) What is the angular velocity of Earth? (c) Given that Earth has a radius of
$6\text{.}4\times {\text{10}}^{6}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{m}$ at its equator, what is the linear velocity at Earth’s surface?
A baseball pitcher brings his arm forward during a pitch, rotating the forearm about the elbow. If the velocity of the ball in the pitcher’s hand is 35.0 m/s and the ball is 0.300 m from the elbow joint, what is the angular velocity of the forearm?
117 rad/s
In lacrosse, a ball is thrown from a net on the end of a stick by rotating the stick and forearm about the elbow. If the angular velocity of the ball about the elbow joint is 30.0 rad/s and the ball is 1.30 m from the elbow joint, what is the velocity of the ball?
A truck with 0.420 m radius tires travels at 32.0 m/s. What is the angular velocity of the rotating tires in radians per second? What is this in rev/min?
76.2 rad/s
728 rpm
Integrated Concepts When kicking a football, the kicker rotates his leg about the hip joint.
(a) If the velocity of the tip of the kicker’s shoe is 35.0 m/s and the hip joint is 1.05 m from the tip of the shoe, what is the shoe tip’s angular velocity?
(b) The shoe is in contact with the initially nearly stationary 0.500 kg football for 20.0 ms. What average force is exerted on the football to give it a velocity of 20.0 m/s?
(c) Find the maximum range of the football, neglecting air resistance.
(a) 33.3 rad/s
(b) 500 N
(c) 40.8 m
Construct Your Own Problem
Consider an amusement park ride in which participants are rotated about a vertical axis in a cylinder with vertical walls. Once the angular velocity reaches its full value, the floor drops away and friction between the walls and the riders prevents them from sliding down. Construct a problem in which you calculate the necessary angular velocity that assures the riders will not slide down the wall. Include a free body diagram of a single rider. Among the variables to consider are the radius of the cylinder and the coefficients of friction between the riders’ clothing and the wall.
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