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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Calculate the torques on rotating systems about a fixed axis to find the angular acceleration
  • Explain how changes in the moment of inertia of a rotating system affect angular acceleration with a fixed applied torque

In this section, we put together all the pieces learned so far in this chapter to analyze the dynamics of rotating rigid bodies. We have analyzed motion with kinematics and rotational kinetic energy but have not yet connected these ideas with force and/or torque. In this section, we introduce the rotational equivalent to Newton’s second law of motion and apply it to rigid bodies with fixed-axis rotation.

Newton’s second law for rotation

We have thus far found many counterparts to the translational terms used throughout this text, most recently, torque, the rotational analog to force. This raises the question: Is there an analogous equation to Newton’s second law, Σ F = m a , which involves torque and rotational motion? To investigate this, we start with Newton’s second law for a single particle rotating around an axis and executing circular motion. Let’s exert a force F on a point mass m that is at a distance r from a pivot point ( [link] ). The particle is constrained to move in a circular path with fixed radius and the force is tangent to the circle. We apply Newton’s second law to determine the magnitude of the acceleration a = F / m in the direction of F . Recall that the magnitude of the tangential acceleration is proportional to the magnitude of the angular acceleration by a = r α . Substituting this expression into Newton’s second law, we obtain

F = m r α .
Figure shows a table with a frictionless tabletop. An object with the mass m is supported by a horizontal frictionless table and is attached to a pivot point by a cord with the length r. A force F is applied to the object perpendicular to the cord r.
An object is supported by a horizontal frictionless table and is attached to a pivot point by a cord that supplies centripetal force. A force F is applied to the object perpendicular to the radius r , causing it to accelerate about the pivot point. The force is perpendicular to r .

Multiply both sides of this equation by r ,

r F = m r 2 α .

Note that the left side of this equation is the torque about the axis of rotation, where r is the lever arm and F is the force, perpendicular to r . Recall that the moment of inertia for a point particle is I = m r 2 . The torque applied perpendicularly to the point mass in [link] is therefore

τ = I α .

The torque on the particle is equal to the moment of inertia about the rotation axis times the angular acceleration . We can generalize this equation to a rigid body rotating about a fixed axis.

Newton’s second law for rotation

If more than one torque acts on a rigid body about a fixed axis, then the sum of the torques equals the moment of inertia times the angular acceleration:

i τ i = I α .

The term I α is a scalar quantity and can be positive or negative (counterclockwise or clockwise) depending upon the sign of the net torque. Remember the convention that counterclockwise angular acceleration is positive. Thus, if a rigid body is rotating clockwise and experiences a positive torque (counterclockwise), the angular acceleration is positive.

[link] is Newton’s second law for rotation    and tells us how to relate torque, moment of inertia, and rotational kinematics. This is called the equation for rotational dynamics    . With this equation, we can solve a whole class of problems involving force and rotation. It makes sense that the relationship for how much force it takes to rotate a body would include the moment of inertia, since that is the quantity that tells us how easy or hard it is to change the rotational motion of an object.

Questions & Answers

a particle projected from origin moving on x-y plane passes through P & Q having consituents (9,7) , (18,4) respectively.find eq. of trajectry.
rahul Reply
definition of inertia
philip Reply
the reluctance of a body to start moving when it is at rest and to stop moving when it is in motion
An inherent property by virtue of which the body remains in its pure state or initial state
why current is not a vector quantity , whereas it have magnitude as well as direction.
Aniket Reply
the flow of current is not current
bcoz it doesn't satisfy the algabric laws of vectors
The Electric current can be defined as the dot product of the current density and the differential cross-sectional area vector : ... So the electric current is a scalar quantity . Scalars are related to tensors by the fact that a scalar is a tensor of order or rank zero .
what is binomial theorem
Tollum Reply
hello are you ready to ask aquestion?
Saadaq Reply
what is binary operations
What is the formula to calculat parallel forces that acts in opposite direction?
Martan Reply
position, velocity and acceleration of vector
Manuel Reply
*a plane flies with a velocity of 1000km/hr in a direction North60degree east.find it effective velocity in the easterly and northerly direction.*
hello Lydia.
What is momentum
A rail way truck of mass 2400kg is hung onto a stationary trunk on a level track and collides with it at 4.7m|s. After collision the two trunk move together with a common speed of 1.2m|s. Calculate the mass of the stationary trunk
Ekuri Reply
I need the solving for this question
is the eye the same like the camera
I can't understand
same here please
I think the question is that ,,, the working principal of eye and camera same or not?
yes i think is same as the camera
what are the dimensions of surface tension
why is the "_" sign used for a wave to the right instead of to the left?
why classical mechanics is necessary for graduate students?
khyam Reply
classical mechanics?
principle of superposition?
Naveen Reply
principle of superposition allows us to find the electric field on a charge by finding the x and y components
Two Masses,m and 2m,approach each along a path at right angles to each other .After collision,they stick together and move off at 2m/s at angle 37° to the original direction of the mass m. What where the initial speeds of the two particles
2m & m initial velocity 1.8m/s & 4.8m/s respectively,apply conservation of linear momentum in two perpendicular directions.
A body on circular orbit makes an angular displacement given by teta(t)=2(t)+5(t)+5.if time t is in seconds calculate the angular velocity at t=2s
2+5+0=7sec differentiate above equation w.r.t time, as angular velocity is rate of change of angular displacement.
Ok i got a question I'm not asking how gravity works. I would like to know why gravity works. like why is gravity the way it is. What is the true nature of gravity?
Daniel Reply
gravity pulls towards a mass...like every object is pulled towards earth
An automobile traveling with an initial velocity of 25m/s is accelerated to 35m/s in 6s,the wheel of the automobile is 80cm in diameter. find * The angular acceleration
Goodness Reply
(10/6) ÷0.4=4.167 per sec
what is the formula for pressure?
Goodness Reply
force is newtom
and area is meter squared
so in SI units pressure is N/m^2
In customary United States units pressure is lb/in^2. pound per square inch
Practice Key Terms 2

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