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10.5: Relating Angular And Linear Quantities - I

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Relating Angular And Linear Quantities - I

10.5: Relating Angular And Linear Quantities - I

If the rotational definitions are compared with the definitions of linear kinematic variables from motion along a straight line and motion in two and three dimensions, we can observe a mapping of the linear variables to the rotational ones.

When comparing the linear and rotational variables individually, the linear variable of position has physical units of meters, whereas the angular position variable has dimensionless units of radians, as it is the ratio of two lengths. The linear velocity has units of m/s, and its counterpart, the angular velocity, has units of rad/s.

In the case of circular motion, the linear tangential speed of a particle at a radius r from the axis of rotation is related to the angular velocity by the relation


This could also apply to points on a rigid body rotating about a fixed axis. Here, only circular motion is considered. In a circular motion, both uniform and nonuniform, there exists a centripetal acceleration. The centripetal acceleration vector points inward from the particle executing circular motion toward the axis of rotation.

Thus, in a uniform circular motion, when the angular velocity is constant and the angular acceleration is zero, we observe a linear acceleration, that is, centripetal acceleration, since the tangential speed is a constant.

This text is adapted from Openstax, University Physics Volume 1, Section 10.3: Relating Angular and Translational Quantities.


Relating Angular Quantities Linear Quantities Rotational Definitions Linear Kinematic Variables Motion Along A Straight Line Motion In Two And Three Dimensions Mapping Linear Variables To Rotational Ones Physical Units Of Meters Dimensionless Units Of Radians Linear Velocity Angular Velocity Circular Motion Tangential Speed Fixed Axis Centripetal Acceleration Uniform Circular Motion Angular Acceleration

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