10. Circular Motion Dynamics

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Learning Objectives

  • Explain the difference between centripetal force and centripetal acceleration.
  • Be able to represent the forces exerted on an object moving in a circle using free-body diagrams.
  • Be able to apply Newton’s 2nd law to objects moving in circular paths at constant speed.


Course Notes

This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.Notes: Circular Motion Dynamics (PDF - 2.8MB)

Suggested Textbook Reading (Optional)

Buy at Amazon Chapter 5.4, 12.6. Young, Hugh D., Roger A. Freedman, and A. Lewis Ford. Sears and Zemansky's University Physics: with Modern Physics. 12th ed. San Francisco, CA: Addison-Wesley, 2007. ISBN: 9780805321876.

Lecture Video

Video Excerpts

Watch the following excerpts from the Physics I lecture videos:

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Download the complete lectures from this course:

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Learning Activities

Guided Activities

Read through the class slides carefully. They explain all of the concepts from the module.

Slides: Circular Motion Dynamics (PDF)


Do the Concept Questions first to make sure you understand the main concepts from this module. Then, when you are ready, try the Challenge Problems. If you are struggling with the Challenge Problems, watch the Homework Help Session videos, which will give you tips on how to tackle problems of this type.

Concept Questions

Concept Questions (PDF)

Solutions (PDF)

Challenge Problems

Challenge Problems (PDF)

Solutions (PDF - 3.4MB)

Problem Solving Help

In the following videos Prof. Walter Lewin explains how to approach the Challenge Problems.

Help Session 1

{'English - US': '/courses/physics/8-01sc-physics-i-classical-mechanics-fall-2010/circular-motion/circular-motion-dynamics/help-session-1/8EWohKdE6oA.srt'}

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Help Session 2

{'English - US': '/courses/physics/8-01sc-physics-i-classical-mechanics-fall-2010/circular-motion/circular-motion-dynamics/help-session-2/TtIP-oGU_fY.srt'}

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Related Resources

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