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# College Physics

Science and Technology

## Rotation Angle and Angular Velocity

Tác giả: OpenStaxCollege

In Kinematics, we studied motion along a straight line and introduced such concepts as displacement, velocity, and acceleration. Two-Dimensional Kinematics dealt with motion in two dimensions. Projectile motion is a special case of two-dimensional kinematics in which the object is projected into the air, while being subject to the gravitational force, and lands a distance away. In this chapter, we consider situations where the object does not land but moves in a curve. We begin the study of uniform circular motion by defining two angular quantities needed to describe rotational motion.

# Rotation Angle

When objects rotate about some axis—for example, when the CD (compact disc) in [link] rotates about its center—each point in the object follows a circular arc. Consider a line from the center of the CD to its edge. Each pit used to record sound along this line moves through the same angle in the same amount of time. The rotation angle is the amount of rotation and is analogous to linear distance. We define the rotation angle $\text{Δ}\theta$ to be the ratio of the arc length to the radius of curvature:

$\text{Δ}\theta =\frac{\text{Δ}s}{r}\text{.}$ All points on a CD travel in circular arcs. The pits along a line from the center to the edge all move through the same angle Δθ size 12{Δθ} {} in a time Δt size 12{Δt} {}. The radius of a circle is rotated through an angle Δθ size 12{Δθ} {}. The arc length Δs size 12{Δs} {} is described on the circumference.

The arc length$\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{Δ}s$ is the distance traveled along a circular path as shown in [link] Note that $r$ is the radius of curvature of the circular path.

We know that for one complete revolution, the arc length is the circumference of a circle of radius $r$. The circumference of a circle is $2\pi r$. Thus for one complete revolution the rotation angle is

$\text{Δ}\theta =\frac{2\pi r}{r}=2\pi \text{.}$

This result is the basis for defining the units used to measure rotation angles, $\text{Δ}\theta$ to be radians (rad), defined so that

$2\pi \phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{rad}=\text{1 revolution.}$

A comparison of some useful angles expressed in both degrees and radians is shown in [link].

 Degree Measures Radian Measure $30º size 12{"30"°} {}$ $π 6 size 12{ { {π} over {6} } } {}$ $60º size 12{"60"°} {}$ $π 3 size 12{ { {π} over {3} } } {}$ $90º size 12{"90"°} {}$ $π 2 size 12{ { {π} over {2} } } {}$ $120º size 12{"120"°} {}$ $2π 3 size 12{ { {2π} over {3} } } {}$ $135º size 12{"135"°} {}$ $3π 4 size 12{ { {3π} over {4} } } {}$ $180º size 12{"180"°} {}$ $π size 12{π} {}$ Points 1 and 2 rotate through the same angle (Δθ size 12{Δθ} {}), but point 2 moves through a greater arc length Δs size 12{ left (Δs right )} {} because it is at a greater distance from the center of rotation (r) size 12{ \( r \) } {}.

If $\text{Δ}\theta =2\pi$ rad, then the CD has made one complete revolution, and every point on the CD is back at its original position. Because there are $\text{360º}$ in a circle or one revolution, the relationship between radians and degrees is thus

$2\pi \phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{rad}=\text{360º}$

so that

$1\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{rad}=\frac{\text{360º}}{2\pi }\approx \text{57.}3º\text{.}$

# Angular Velocity

How fast is an object rotating? We define angular velocity $\omega$ as the rate of change of an angle. In symbols, this is

$\omega =\frac{\text{Δ}\theta }{\text{Δ}t}\text{,}$

where an angular rotation $\text{Δ}\theta$ takes place in a time $\text{Δ}t$. The greater the rotation angle in a given amount of time, the greater the angular velocity. The units for angular velocity are radians per second (rad/s).

Angular velocity $\omega$ is analogous to linear velocity $v$. To get the precise relationship between angular and linear velocity, we again consider a pit on the rotating CD. This pit moves an arc length $\text{Δ}s$ in a time $\text{Δ}t$, and so it has a linear velocity

$v=\frac{\text{Δ}s}{\text{Δ}t}\text{.}$

From $\text{Δ}\theta =\frac{\text{Δ}s}{r}$ we see that $\text{Δ}s=r\text{Δ}\theta$. Substituting this into the expression for $v$ gives

$v=\frac{r\text{Δ}\theta }{\text{Δ}t}=\mathrm{r\omega }\text{.}$

We write this relationship in two different ways and gain two different insights:

The first relationship in states that the linear velocity $v$ is proportional to the distance from the center of rotation, thus, it is largest for a point on the rim (largest $r$), as you might expect. We can also call this linear speed $v$ of a point on the rim the tangential speed. The second relationship in can be illustrated by considering the tire of a moving car. Note that the speed of a point on the rim of the tire is the same as the speed $v$ of the car. See [link]. So the faster the car moves, the faster the tire spins—large $v$ means a large $\omega$, because $v=\mathrm{r\omega }$. Similarly, a larger-radius tire rotating at the same angular velocity ($\omega$) will produce a greater linear speed ($v$) for the car. A car moving at a velocity v size 12{v} {} to the right has a tire rotating with an angular velocity ω size 12{ω} {}.The speed of the tread of the tire relative to the axle is v size 12{v} {}, the same as if the car were jacked up. Thus the car moves forward at linear velocity v=rω size 12{v=rω} {}, where r size 12{r} {} is the tire radius. A larger angular velocity for the tire means a greater velocity for the car.
How Fast Does a Car Tire Spin?

Calculate the angular velocity of a 0.300 m radius car tire when the car travels at $\text{15}\text{.}0\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{m/s}$ (about $\text{54}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{km/h}$). See [link].

Strategy

Because the linear speed of the tire rim is the same as the speed of the car, we have $v=\text{15.0 m/s}.$ The radius of the tire is given to be $r=\text{0.300 m}.$ Knowing $v$ and $r$, we can use the second relationship in to calculate the angular velocity.

Solution

To calculate the angular velocity, we will use the following relationship:

$\omega =\frac{v}{r}\text{.}$

Substituting the knowns,

$\omega =\frac{\text{15}\text{.}0\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{m/s}}{0\text{.}\text{300}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{m}}=\text{50}\text{.}0\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{rad/s.}$

Discussion

When we cancel units in the above calculation, we get 50.0/s. But the angular velocity must have units of rad/s. Because radians are actually unitless (radians are defined as a ratio of distance), we can simply insert them into the answer for the angular velocity. Also note that if an earth mover with much larger tires, say 1.20 m in radius, were moving at the same speed of 15.0 m/s, its tires would rotate more slowly. They would have an angular velocity

$\omega =\left(\text{15}\text{.}0\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{m/s}\right)/\left(1\text{.}\text{20}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{m}\right)=\text{12}\text{.}5\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{rad/s.}$

Both $\omega$ and $v$ have directions (hence they are angular and linear velocities, respectively). Angular velocity has only two directions with respect to the axis of rotation—it is either clockwise or counterclockwise. Linear velocity is tangent to the path, as illustrated in [link]. As an object moves in a circle, here a fly on the edge of an old-fashioned vinyl record, its instantaneous velocity is always tangent to the circle. The direction of the angular velocity is clockwise in this case.

# Section Summary

• Uniform circular motion is motion in a circle at constant speed. The rotation angle $\text{Δ}\theta$ is defined as the ratio of the arc length to the radius of curvature:
$\text{Δ}\theta =\frac{\text{Δ}s}{r}\text{,}$

where arc length $\text{Δ}s$ is distance traveled along a circular path and $r$ is the radius of curvature of the circular path. The quantity $\text{Δ}\theta$ is measured in units of radians (rad), for which

• The conversion between radians and degrees is $1\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{rad}=\text{57}\text{.}3\text{º}$.
• Angular velocity $\omega$ is the rate of change of an angle,
$\omega =\frac{\text{Δ}\theta }{\text{Δ}t}\text{,}$

where a rotation $\text{Δ}\theta$ takes place in a time $\text{Δ}t$. The units of angular velocity are radians per second (rad/s). Linear velocity $v$ and angular velocity $\omega$ are related by

# Conceptual Questions

There is an analogy between rotational and linear physical quantities. What rotational quantities are analogous to distance and velocity?

# Problem Exercises

Semi-trailer trucks have an odometer on one hub of a trailer wheel. The hub is weighted so that it does not rotate, but it contains gears to count the number of wheel revolutions—it then calculates the distance traveled. If the wheel has a 1.15 m diameter and goes through 200,000 rotations, how many kilometers should the odometer read?

723 km

Microwave ovens rotate at a rate of about 6 rev/min. What is this in revolutions per second? What is the angular velocity in radians per second?

An automobile with 0.260 m radius tires travels 80,000 km before wearing them out. How many revolutions do the tires make, neglecting any backing up and any change in radius due to wear?

$5×{\text{10}}^{7}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{rotations}$

(a) What is the period of rotation of Earth in seconds? (b) What is the angular velocity of Earth? (c) Given that Earth has a radius of $6\text{.}4×{\text{10}}^{6}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{m}$ at its equator, what is the linear velocity at Earth’s surface?

A baseball pitcher brings his arm forward during a pitch, rotating the forearm about the elbow. If the velocity of the ball in the pitcher’s hand is 35.0 m/s and the ball is 0.300 m from the elbow joint, what is the angular velocity of the forearm?

In lacrosse, a ball is thrown from a net on the end of a stick by rotating the stick and forearm about the elbow. If the angular velocity of the ball about the elbow joint is 30.0 rad/s and the ball is 1.30 m from the elbow joint, what is the velocity of the ball?

A truck with 0.420 m radius tires travels at 32.0 m/s. What is the angular velocity of the rotating tires in radians per second? What is this in rev/min?

728 rpm

Integrated Concepts When kicking a football, the kicker rotates his leg about the hip joint.

(a) If the velocity of the tip of the kicker’s shoe is 35.0 m/s and the hip joint is 1.05 m from the tip of the shoe, what is the shoe tip’s angular velocity?

(b) The shoe is in contact with the initially nearly stationary 0.500 kg football for 20.0 ms. What average force is exerted on the football to give it a velocity of 20.0 m/s?

(c) Find the maximum range of the football, neglecting air resistance.