Thu July 07, 2011 By: Gurudev Yadav

What is a circular motion?

Expert Reply
Thu July 07, 2011

In physics, circular motion is rotation along a circle: a circular path or a circular orbit. It can be uniform, that is, with constant angular rate of rotation, or non-uniform, that is, with a changing rate of rotation. The rotation around a fixed axis of a three-dimensional body involves circular motion of its parts. The equations describing circular motion of an object do not take size or geometry into account, rather, the motion of a point mass in a plane is assumed. In practice, the center of mass of a body can be considered to undergo circular motion.

Examples of circular motion include: an artificial satellite orbiting the Earth in geosynchronous orbit, a stone which is tied to a rope and is being swung in circles (cf. hammer throw), a racecar turning through a curve in a race track, an electron moving perpendicular to a uniform magnetic field, and a gear turning inside a mechanism.


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