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Rotation recap



Our last unit in AP physics c was rotational motion. In this unit we learned about rotational kinematics, dynamics and momentum. Rotational kinematic is very similar to translational kinematics because the same kinematic equations are used. The difference is that instead of displacement roation has the change in the angle. Instead of translational velocity and acceleration, rotational motion is calculated with angular velocity and acceleration.

As far as dynamics go, rotational motion has a very significant concept that separates it from translational motion. It's moment of inertia. Moment of inertia is the measure of an objects abilty to resist rotational motion. It could be compared to inertial mass or just mass. The other importance to rotational dynamics is the concept of torque which is a force that causes rotation mesured in Newton*meters. Torque is equal to the moment of inertia of the rotating object times its angular acceleration. Torque is also equal to the cross product of force and the distance from the axis of rotation that force is applied. Rotational dynamics is important for solving many different problems involving rotation.

Rotational or angular momentum is the measure of how difficult it is to stop a rotating object. It can be calculated using the equation L = moment of inertia * angular velocity. Angular momentum is also equal to the cross product of the objects radius and its translational momentum. It is important to know that angular momentum is always conserved, so in a closed system the intitial angular momentum is equal to the final angular momentum. 

Rotation is a very important topic because it is so useful in the world of science and engineering because not everything moves in linear motion. For instance our solar system can be studied using rotation since our planets move in rotational paths.


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