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Rotational Kinetics

Introduction and Summary

Table of Contents

Terms and Formulae

Most motion in the universe is not simply linear motion: planets move in ellipses around the sun, electrons rotate around a nucleus, masses oscillate, particles vibrate. If we are to fully understand mechanics we must extend our study to nonlinear kinds of motion.

In this SparkNote we begin by studying rotational motion. We first define rotational motion and generate variables to describe that motion. Next, we develop kinematic equations relating these variables. Though the mathematics of rotational motion might be a bit more complex, the concepts behind it are quite similar to that of linear motion.

Our study of rotational motion will parallel that of linear motion. We will derive the same concepts, generate similar formulas, and work similar problems. However, with rotational motion we will spend much less time developing the kinematics of rotational motion since we have already encountered the central concepts.