Rotational Motion Honors Physics Page 1 of 2
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Date:
Kinematics versus Dynamics:
Kinematics: describes the motion of objects and systems without consideration of the forces that cause the motion
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Kinematic quantities: displacement, velocity, acceleration 


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Dynamics studies forces and why objects are in motion. 
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Kinetics  subset of dynamics  studies the relationship between external forces and motion 
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Statics  subset of dynamics  studies the relations in a system at equilibrium 
Translation versus Rotation
Translational motion (translation): movement that changes the position of an object Rotational motion (rotation): circular motion of an object around a center of rotation
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If the axis is within the body and passes through its center of mass, the body is said to rotate upon itself, or spin. 
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In rotation, the center of the object doesn’t move but the outer parts circle around it. 
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While revolution is often used as a synonym for rotation, they are different. Revolution is used when one body moves around another; in other words, the axis of rotation is not through the center of mass. 
For each translational quantity, there is a corresponding rotational quantity.
How Far???
x
θ
How Fast???
How Does Velocity Change???
a
To recap, the quantities used in kinematics, both translational and
rotational are shown in the table below.
Translation 
Quantity 
Rotation 
x (m) 
displacement 
θ (rad) 
v (m/s) 
velocity 
ω (rad/s) 
a (m/s 2 ) 
acceleration 
α (rad/s 2 ) 
t (s) 
time 
t (s) 
Remember from the lab that the radius of the revolution or rotation is
the link between linear and angular measurements. So
. .
.
v = r ω
and
a = r α
and
x = r θ.
Clocks
Through how many radians does the second hand of a clock move every second?
(π/30) rad
What is the angular speed of the second hand in radians per second?
0.105 rad/s
How would you describe the direction of the movement of the second hand?
New November 2011
Rotational Motion Honors Physics Page 2 of 2
Bugs on Clocks
A bug is crawling very slowly along the second hand of a clock.
Where is the bug’s speed the largest? angular = same everywhere, linear = at far end of hand
How fast is the bug moving when it is moving the fastest? angular = 0.105 rad/s
Does the bug experience angular acceleration?
no  angular speed is constant everywhere
Is it possible for the bug to remain at rest while still clinging at some point to the second hand?
(Why not or
where?) sit at the axis of rotation.
Notice the analogs to the simple “equations” 
. 

Translation 
Rotation 

v = d ÷ t 
speed 
ω = θ ÷ t 

a = ∆v ÷ t 
acceleration 
α = ∆ω ÷ t 
For each of the onedimensional translational kinematic equations, there is also a corresponding rotational analog.
Translational 
Rotational 

v = v _{o} + at 
ω = ω _{o} + αt 

Δx = v _{o} t + 1/2 at 2 
Δθ = ω _{o} t + 1/2 αt 2 

v 
2 = v _{o} 2 + 2 a ∆x 
ω 2 = ω _{o} 2 + 2 α Δθ 
Practice 1: The platter of a hard disk of a computer rotates at 5400 rpm (revolutions per minute). (a) What is the an
gular velocity of the disk in rad/s?
(b) If the reading head of the drive is located 3.00cm from the axis of rotation, what is
the linear speed of the disk below it in m/s?
(c) If a single bit requires 5.00µm of length along the motion direction, how
many bits per second can the writing head write when it is 3.00cm from its axis of rotation?
(a) 5400rev/min x 1min/60s x 2π rad/rev = 565 rad/s
(b) v = ωr = (565 rad/s)(0.0300m) = 17.0 m/s
(c) 17.0 m/s x (1 bit/5.00x10 ^{}^{6} m) = 3.40x10 ^{6} bits/s
Practice 2: A centrifuge rotor is accelerated from rest to 2975 rad/s in 5.00minutes. What is its angular acceleration in
rad/sec ^{2} ?
2975 rad/s  0 rad/s = 2975 rad/s ^{2} = Δω
α = Δω / Δt = = 2975 rad/s ÷ 300.s = 9.92 rad/s ^{2}
Practice 3: Through how many revolutions has the centrifuge rotor in the previous practice problem turned during its acceleration period? Assume constant angular acceleration.
∆θ = ω _{o} t + 0.5αt ^{2} = 0 + 0.5(9.92rad/s ^{2} )(300.s) ^{2} = 446000 rad 446000rad x 1rev/2π rad = 7.10x10 ^{4} rev
Practice 4: A bicycle slows down uniformly from v _{o} = 8.40m/s to rest over a distance of 115m. Each wheel and tire has an overall diameter of 68.0cm. Determine (a) the angular velocity of the wheels at the initial instant, (b) the angular accel eration of the wheel, (c) the time it took for the bicycle to come to to a stop, and (d) the total number of revolutions each wheel rotates in coming to rest,
(a) v = rω
ω = v/r = 8.40 m/s ÷ 0.340m = 24.7 rad/s
(b) 0 ^{2} = (8.40m/s) ^{2} + 2(a)(115m)
(c) 0 = 24.7 rad/s + (0.903 rad/s ^{2} )t
a = 0.307 m/s ^{2}
t = 27.4s
α = a/r = 0.307m/s ^{2} /0.340m = 0.903rad/s ^{2}
(d) Δθ = (24.7rad/s)(27.4s) + 0.5(0.903rad/s ^{2} )(27.4s) ^{2} = 338 rad = 53.8 rev
New November 2011