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

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## 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

To calculate the centripetal acceleration, square the tangential velocity, then divide by the radius.

## Centripetal Acceleration Definition

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

## Centripetal Acceleration Example

How to calculate the centripetal acceleration

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

**Next, determine the radius**Either calculate or measure the radius of rotation.

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

## FAQ

**How do you calculate the tangential acceleration from angular acceleration?**

To calculate the tangential acceleration from angular acceleration, you multiply the angular acceleration (α) by the radius (R) of the circular path. The formula is a = α * R.

**Can angular acceleration be negative?**

Yes, angular acceleration can be negative. A negative angular acceleration indicates that the angular velocity of the object is decreasing over time, meaning the object is slowing down in its rotational motion.

**How does the radius of rotation affect angular acceleration?**

The radius of rotation affects angular acceleration when calculating it through tangential acceleration. A larger radius at a constant tangential acceleration results in a smaller angular acceleration, as the formula α = a / R indicates. Conversely, a smaller radius increases the angular acceleration for the same tangential acceleration.