Enter the tangential velocity and the radius at which an object is rotating into the calculator to determine the centripetal acceleration.

Centripetal Acceleration Formula

The following equation is used to calculate the centripetal acceleration of an object in rotation/orbit.

a = V^2/r

  • Where a is the centripetal acceleration m/s^2
  • V is the tangential velocity m/s
  • r is the radius m

Centripetal Acceleration Definition

Centripetal acceleration is defined as the rate of change of angular velocity or speed.

Centripetal Acceleration Example

How to calculate centripetal acceleration

  1. First, measure the velocity

    The key to this step is that the velocity is the tangential velocity. In other words the velocity perpendicular to the radius.

  2. Next, determine the radius

    Either calculate or measure the radius of rotation.

  3. Finally, calculate the centripetal acceleration

    Calculate the centripetal acceleration using the velocity and radius from steps 1 and 2 combined with the formula above.


What is centripetal acceleration?

Centripetal acceleration, also known as angular acceleration, is the acceleration acting on an object perpendicular to its movement.

What is tangential velocity?

Tangential velocity is the velocity of an object tangential to the rotation.