Rotational Dynamics

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How Centripetal Action Keeps an Object Moving in a Circle

According to the laws of physics, in order to keep an object moving in circular motion, its velocity constantly changes direction. Whenever velocity changes, you have acceleration. Specifically, you have [more…]

Calculating the Speed of an Object with Uniform Circular Motion

An object with uniform circular motion travels in a circle with a constant speed. Outside a physics class, practical examples may be hard to come by, unless you see a race car driver on a perfectly circular [more…]

How Centripetal Acceleration Keeps an Object Moving in a Constant Circle

In physics, when an object travels in uniform circular motion, its speed is constant, which means that the magnitude of the object’s velocity doesn’t change. Therefore, acceleration can have no component [more…]

How Mass, Velocity, and Radius Affect Centripetal Force

Mass, velocity, and radius are all related when you calculate centripetal force. In fact, when you know this information, you can use physics equations to calculate how much force is required to keep an [more…]

Relating Linear and Angular Motion

In physics, just as you can use formulas to calculate linear velocity, acceleration, displacement, and motion, you can also use equivalent formulas for angular [more…]

How to Calculate a Satellite’s Speed around the Earth

In space, gravity supplies the centripetal force that causes satellites (like the moon) to orbit larger bodies (like the Earth). Thanks to physics, if you know the mass and altitude of a satellite in orbit [more…]

How to Calculate the Period and Orbiting Radius of a Geosynchronous Satellite

When a satellite travels in a geosynchronous orbit around the Earth, it needs to travel at a certain orbiting radius and period to maintain this orbit. Because the radius and period are related, you can [more…]

Calculate the Velocity Necessary to Counteract Gravity in a Loop

If you know the radius of a circular track, you can use physics to calculate how fast an object needs to move in order to stay in contact with the track without falling when it reaches the top of the loop [more…]

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