Angular Velocity vs Tangential Velocity
Angular velocity and tangential velocity are two important concepts in movements of matter. The scope of this article is to describe the two concepts, angular velocity and tangential velocity, and present the basic differences between them.
What is Angular Velocity?
Angular velocity is an event discussed in the angular motion. Motions like blades of a rotating fan or a running wheel have angular motion. A radial angle is used to explain the angular motion. One side of this angle moves with the object as the other remains still with respect to earth. The angle is known as angular displacement. The rate of change of angular displacement is known as angular velocity, and rate of change of angular velocity is known as the angular acceleration. The angular velocity is expressed in either radians per second or revolutions per second. A change in the angular velocity of an object requires external net torque acting upon the system. Another property discussed with the angular velocity is the angular momentum. Angular momentum is equal to the product of the moment of inertial of the object about the rotational axis and the angular velocity. The rotational kinetic energy of the system is equal to the product of the moment of inertia and the angular velocity squared divided by two. Angular velocity is the proper quantity that gives us the impression of how fast an object is revolving. This is usually denoted by ω.
What is Tangential Velocity?
To understand the concept of tangential velocity, one must first understand the concept of velocity in a Cartesian coordinate system. In vector form, velocity can be denoted as the rate of change of the position vector. If an object is following a curved path, the velocity of the object changes due to both, the rate of change of positional vector and directional change. A tangent line to a curve is the straight line that is parallel to an extremely small part of the curve around the point the tangential is drawn. The instantaneous linear velocity of the object is equal to the tangential velocity. In a linear motion, since the tangential velocity and the linear velocity are parallel, the tangential velocity is always in a direct line. For nonlinear motions, a force is required to change the direction of the velocity of the object. The unit of tangential velocity is meters per second. For a uniform circular motion, if the force between the object and the center is removed, the object tends to move in the direction of the tangential velocity. For an object moving on a circular path with radius r and a mass m with angular velocity ω, the tangential velocity is equal to radius and angular velocity product.
What is the difference between angular velocity and tangential velocity?
• Angular velocity is an angular property, which is measured in radians per second.
• Tangential velocity is a linear property measured in meters per second.
• For a given radius, the angular velocity and the tangential velocity are proportional.