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Circular Motion

Round and Round:
Objects moving in a circle with a constant speed must have a force acting on it, directed towards
the centre of the circle. This is called the centripetal force. It is not a specific force, but a name
given to force that causes an object…

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Period and Frequency
The time period (T) of an oscillation is related to the frequency (f) by the equation
o T=1 f

o T is time taken for full circle
Showing the objects steady angular speed can be found from
o T = 2

Back and Forth
On a swing,…

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o The frictional force of the wall must be equal to the
weight of the rider, for the rider to stay in vertical
equilibrium. The reaction of the wall on the rider
provides the centripetal force.

Big Wheel
Although they rotate slowly, a centripetal force is still
required. Throughout the…

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Moment of Inertia
- Resistance to change in angular motion is measure by the moment of inertia about a
chosen axis for the object. A ratio of torque-to-acceleration. Measured in units of kgm2
o Example
If a disc and hoop of identical mass and radii roll down the same incline…

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Rotational Kinetic Energy
There are two types of kinetic energy need to be considered when looking at something in circular
motion: translational and rotational. Translational kinetic energy is the linear energy need to move
an object from point A to B. Rotational energy is the energy used to make an…

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The Waltzer
o Rotating buckets are mounted on a track attached to an oscillating segmented
o Motion is complex- a combination of vertical SHM, horizontal circular motion and
oscillation of the bucket
o Rider can alter the angular speed through changing the moment of inertia
Moving away from the…


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