Circular Motion

Understanding circular motion is a prerequisite for the  Kepler’s Laws of planetary motion, the physics of planetary and satellite orbits as well as Newton’s theory of gravitation.

Angular velocity:
Worksheet:  Please see this link for a worksheet on angular velocity
Angular Velocity


Angular Acceleration is the rate of change of angular Velocity with respect to time. It is a vector quantity. It is denoted by α. The Angular Acceleration Formula is given by:
Angular Acceleration Formula
Note: non-calculus version – replace the “d” s  with delta

Where, ω is the angular velocity and t is the time taken.

Formula for Angular Acceleration
Centripetal acceleration:
Centripetal acceleration is the acceleration that keeps objects moving in a circle.  Using the earth – moon system as an example, the centripetal acceleration which keeps the moon moving a round the earth is due to the gravitational field of the earth.

Centrifugal acceleration