Centripetal Force & Acceleration
"Centripetal" means "seeking the centre" … it comes from the Latin word peto (I seek)
Working out centripetal acceleration
Symbols
ϴ (theta) = Angular displacement (radians)
Ѡ (omega) =
Angular velocity (radians / sec)
α (alpha) = Angular acceleration (radians / sec)
v = Velocity (metres /sec)
r = Radius of motion (metres)
Now (a)acceleration = Change in velocity =
Time
From the vector diagram above so putting them together we get
but
So by substitution a =
But
So again by substitution
Centripetal Acceleration = or =
These apply if the mass of the rotating object and radius are fixed.
Using the equation worked out above we can calculate centripetal acceleration
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