Whats the difference between circular motion and rotational motion?

Asked by Rohan Mehra | 18th Mar, 2011, 09:30: PM

Expert Answer:

Dear student,
For something to be 'circular motion,' it just has to move in a circle. For example, a toy train on a circular track has circular motion. For something to have 'rotational motion,' it has to actually have something that it's rotating around (called an axis). In general, a toy train on a track does not have an axis that it's rotating around, so it would not have rotational motion. A wheel on a car, however, rotates around the car's axle, so it does have rotational motion. For this example, if you were to pick a single point on the edge of the wheel, you could also say that it has circular motion. 
Hope this helps.

Answered by  | 21st Mar, 2011, 10:38: PM

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