Motion in a Circle

Seng Kwang
H2 Physics
  • 6 lessons
  • 1 quizzes
  • 10 week duration

Motion in a Circle

Linear velocity for circular motion

Direction of Angular Velocity

Using the Right-Hand Grip rule, you can identify the direction of the angular velocity vector, which lies perpendicular to the plane containing the linear velocity vector. To use the Right-Hand Grip rule, curl the fingers on your right hand such that they follow the curvature and direction of the object’s path. Your right thumb will then naturally point in the direction of the angular velocity vector. You may use the 3-dimensional animation to observe the vector changes.


  1. $v = r\omega$, where $v$ is the linear velocity of the object, $r$ is the radius of the circular path and $\omega$ is the angular velocity.
  2. For uniform circular motion, $\omega = \dfrac{2\pi}{T}$, where $T$ is the period of the circular motion or time taken to make on complete round.
  3. Alternatively, $\omega = 2\pi f$ where $f$ is the frequency of rotation, or the number of complete rotations per second.

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