## Tangential and Radial Acceleration

Just because an object moves in a circle, it has a

centripetal acceleration adirected_{c},toward the center.We know this centripetal acceleration is given bya _{c}= v^{2}/ rThis centripetal acceleration is directed along a radius so it may also be called the

radial acceleration a._{r}If the

speedis not constant, then there is also atangential acceleration a_{t}.The

tangential accelerationis, indeed,tangentto the path of the particle's motion.

Circular MotionRelative MotionReturn to ToC, Vectors and 2D Motion(c) 2002, Doug Davis; all rights reserved