We live in a world that is defined by three spatial dimensions and one time dimension.

Objects move within this domain in two ways. An object translates, or changes location, from one point to another. And an object rotates, or changes its orientation. In general, the motion of an object involves both translation in all three directions and rotation about three principle axes. On this page we will only consider the rotation of a solid object about one axis. The rotation of an object is similar to the translation in the number of variables we must consider, but the notation is very confusing because it has traditionally been described using Greek symbols. On the slide at the top of the page we have used the traditional Greek notation. To simplify Article 508 compliance, we will just spell out the names of the variables here in the text, rather than use a symbol font. Theta is the symbol that looks like a 0 with a horizontal line through it. Phi is the symbol that looks like a 0 with a vertical line through it. Omega is the symbol that looks like a curly w. Alpha is the symbol that looks like a crossed ribbon. Because the object rotates about an axis of rotation the simplest way to describe the motion is to use polar coordinates. We can specify the angular orientation of an object at any time t by specifying the angle theta the object has rotated from some reference line. Initially, our object is at orientation "0", specified by angle theta 0 at time t0. We have drawn a red line on the disc indicating the initial orientation. The object rotates until time t1 and the red line rotates to angle theta 1. We can define an angular displacement - phi as the difference in angle from condition "0" to condition "1". phi = theta 1 - theta 0 Angular displacement is a vector quantity, which means that angular displacement has a size and a direction associated with it. The direction is important for later mathematical processes, but the definition is a bit confusing. As the object

but the distance sb is shorter than the distance sa. Curve your fingers with the base at point "0" and the tips going to point "1". the point on the edge of the disk moves distance sa along a circular path. At any instant. we can define the instantaneous angular acceleration to be the differential change in angular velocity divided by the differential change in time: alpha = d omega / dt . all of the points of the object experience the same angular displacement. Angular velocity is measured in radians per second. the angular velocity changes to an angular velocity omega 1. The average angular velocity is the angular displacement divided by the time interval: omega = (theta 1 . V = omega * r ra > rb Va > Vb When we initially specify the rotation of our object with theta 0.rotates from point "0" to point "1". omega = d theta / dt where the symbol d / dt is the differential from calculus. the object could have an angular velocity that is different than the average. As the solid object rotates about the axis of rotation.omega of the object is the change of angle with respect to time. Two pi radians equals 360 degrees. so the direction of the angular displacement is measured along the axis. On the slide we consider two points. At any instant. and t0. this is only an average angular acceleration. it rotates about an axis. Angular velocity is different than linear velocity. expressed in radians. and t1. alpha = (omega 1 .theta 0) / (t1 . or revolutions per minute (rpm). the object could have an angular acceleration that is different than the average. which is measured in length per time (feet per second or meters per second). Your thumb points perpendicular to the plane of rotation in the positive direction along the axis of rotation. for angular displacement phi. The point at rb also moves in a circular path.omega 0) / (t1 .alpha of the object is the change of the angular velocity with respect to time. s = phi * r ra > rb sa > sb The angular velocity . All of the points of the object rotate at the same angular velocity. one is located at radius ra on the edge of the disk. and the other is located at radius rb which is less than ra. we should also specify an initial instantaneous angular velocity omega 0.t0) This is the average angular velocity during the time interval from t0 to t1. but points farther from the axis of rotation move at a different tangential velocity than points closer to the axis of rotation. In general. The average angular acceleration .t0) As with the angular velocity. The direction is the same as the the angular displacement direction from which we defined the angular velocity. A positive value for the direction of the axis is defined by the right hand rule. Tangential velocity V is equal to the angular velocity omega times the radius r: for angular displacement phi. As the object rotates through the angular displacement phi. Angular displacement is measured in units of radians. but points farther away from the axis move farther than points closer to the axis. but the object might speed up and slow down during the time interval. If we shrink the time difference down to a very small (differential) size. Extend your right hand as if to shake hands with someone. If we shrink the time difference down to a very small (differential) size. we can define the instantaneous angular velocity to be the differential change in angle divided by the differential change in time. the length of the circular path s is equal to the radius r times the angular displacement phi. The tangential velocity is measured along the circular path s that we considered earlier. Likewise at the final position theta 1. so an angular displacement is different than a linear displacement. The angular displacement is not a length (not measured in meters or feet). or revolutions per second. Angular velocity is a vector quantity and has both a magnitude and a direction.

a torque produces angular accelerations. we can use the equations presented on this slide to determine the angular acceleration. angular velocity. and angular displacement of the object as a function of time. and how the torques change with time.In the same way that forces produce linear accelerations. Aeronautical engineers use this information to predict the rotations of an aircraft in flight that become important for the stability and control of an aircraft. If we can determine the torques on an object. .

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