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Exploration 3.6: Uniform Circular Motion

Please wait for the animation to completely load.

A point (red) on a rotating wheel is shown in the animation (position is given in meters and time is given in seconds). Restart.

  1. Note that the speed of the red point is constant. Is its velocity constant?
  2. Click here to view the velocity vector. After viewing the vector rethink your answer: is the velocity of the red point constant?
  3. What is the direction of the red point's acceleration vector? Click here to view the acceleration and velocity vectors.
  4. How does the speed of the red point compare to the speed of another point, say a green one, which is at only half the radius of the red point? Click here to view both points. For clarity the green point is shown on the opposite side from the red one.
  5. Why is the speed of the green point less than the speed of the red point?
  6. How does the magnitude of the acceleration of the red point compare to the magnitude of the acceleration of the green point? Click here to view both points and their velocity and acceleration vectors.

Download PDF Worksheet

Exploration authored by Aaron Titus with support by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DUE-9952323 and placed in the public domain.

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