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The given figure shows the top view of an old fashioned vinyl record. Two perpendicular line segments are drawn through the center of the circular record, one vertically upward and one horizontal to the right side. Two flies are shown at the end points of the vertical lines near the borders of the record. Two arrows are also drawn perpendicularly rightward through the end points of these vertical lines depicting linear velocities. A curved arrow is also drawn at the center circular part of the record which shows the angular velocity.
As an object moves in a circle, here a fly on the edge of an old-fashioned vinyl record, its instantaneous velocity is always tangent to the circle. The direction of the angular velocity is clockwise in this case.

Phet explorations: ladybug revolution

Ladybug Revolution

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 Δ θ size 12{Δθ} {} is defined as the ratio of the arc length to the radius of curvature:
    Δ θ = Δ s r , size 12{Δθ= { {Δs} over {r} } ","} {}

    where arc length Δ s size 12{Δs} {} is distance traveled along a circular path and r size 12{r} {} is the radius of curvature of the circular path. The quantity Δ θ size 12{Δθ} {} is measured in units of radians (rad), for which

    rad = 360º 1  revolution. size 12{2π`"rad"=`"360""°="`1`"revolution."} {}
  • The conversion between radians and degrees is 1 rad = 57 . 3 º size 12{1"rad"="57" "." 3°} {} .
  • Angular velocity ω size 12{ω} {} is the rate of change of an angle,
    ω = Δ θ Δ t , size 12{ω= { {Δθ} over {Δt} } ","} {}

    where a rotation Δ θ size 12{Δθ} {} takes place in a time Δ t size 12{Δt} {} . The units of angular velocity are radians per second (rad/s). Linear velocity v size 12{v} {} and angular velocity ω size 12{ω} {} are related by

    v =  or  ω = v r . size 12{v=rω``"or "ω= { {v} over {r} } "."} {}

Conceptual questions

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?

5 × 10 7 rotations size 12{9 "." "79" times "10" rSup { size 8{8} } `"rotations"} {}

(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 . 4 × 10 6 m size 12{6 "." 4 times "10" rSup { size 8{6} } } {} 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 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.

Questions & Answers

What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
Berger describes sociologists as concerned with
Mueller Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, College physics arranged for cpslo phys141. OpenStax CNX. Dec 23, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11718/1.4
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