Circular Motion

Disclaimer: This page is designed to complement and supplement your lecture notes/textbooks. It is not a complete learning package by itself.


Do you know how to convert between radians and degrees? Do you know the relationship between linear speed and angular velocity? (xmtutor)

Can you distinguish between the tangential and centripetal direction? (xmdemo)

Why must the net force on a body in uniform circular motion be only centripetal? Is the centripetal force a physical force? (xmphysics)

Can you derive the formula ac=v2/r ? (xmtutor)

Which cyclist/nut will skid first?

  • cyclists turning, inner lane or outer lane?
  • nuts on a spinning disc, inner lane or outer lane? (xmtutor) (xmdemo)

Can you apply Newton’s 2nd Law for the following circular motion?


Circular Motion involving Rotational Equilibrium

Why must motorbikes lean inward into the turn? (xmphysics) (xmdemo)

Why do cars lean outward while turning? (xmdemo)


Circular Motion involving GPE

A stone is tied to a string and swung in a vertical circle.

  • How does the tension in the string vary? Why? (xmdemo)
  • What is the minimum swing speed at the bottom such that the stone can “loop-the-loop” successfully.(xmtutor)

A pail of water is swung in a vertical circle. (xmphysics)

  • Why is it possible that the water does not fall out of the pail? (xmdemo)

A roller coaster “loops-the-loop”.

  • What are the conditions for a roller coaster to loop-the-loop successfully? (xmdemo)
  • What is the minimum drop height in order for the roller coaster to loop-the-loop successfully? (xmtutor)



Wall of Death (xmdemo)


Beyond the H2 Syllabus

Circling Buoys (xmdemo)

Buoys in Swinging Pail (xmdemo)