Physics » Uniform Circular Motion and Gravitation » Centripetal Acceleration

Summarizing Centripetal Acceleration


  • Centripetal acceleration \({a}_{\text{c}}\) is the acceleration experienced while in uniform circular motion. It always points toward the center of rotation. It is perpendicular to the linear velocity \(v\) and has the magnitude

    \({a}_{\text{c}}=\frac{{v}^{2}}{r};\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}{a}_{\text{c}}={\mathrm{r\omega }}^{2}.\)

  • The unit of centripetal acceleration is \(\text{m}/{\text{s}}^{2}\).


centripetal acceleration

the acceleration of an object moving in a circle, directed toward the center


a centrifuge optimized for spinning a rotor at very high speeds

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