Circular Motion vs Rotational Motion
Circular motion and rotational motion are two special types of motions in the study of motion in physics. Though both types of motions have similarities, there are obvious differences that need to be explained. People are confused between the concepts involved in a circular and a rotational motion. This article will highlight the differences to make the concept clearer in the minds of readers.
Circular motion is the motion of a body around another body in a circular orbit. For example, motion of moon around earth in a circular orbit is an example of circular motion. If you tie a stone with string and start moving it around yourself, the stone is said to be in a circular motion. On the other hand, if you are moving around on an axis you are said to be in a rotational motion. Therefore, rotational motion is described as one around an axis. If a toy train is moving on a circular track, it is said to have a circular motion but if you are driving your car on a circular track, it has circular motion and also rotational motion as the tires of the car are moving around an axis which is its axle.
You must have seen kids spinning their beyblades. These objects run furiously around an axis and thus have a rotational motion. If a rotating object does not move from its place, it only has rotational motion but if it also moves in an orbit, it is said to have both types of motion. Earth has both circular as well as rotational motion when moving in an orbit around the sun. Circular motion it is which causes day and nights on earth whereas rotational motion causes weathers around the year.
Difference between Circular Motion and Rotational Motion
• Circular motion means a body is moving in an orbit and always has a starting point to which it will eventually return
• Rotational motion means the body is turning around itself. The best examples are a spin top and earth moving on its own axis around the sun. Wheels turning on a car are also an example of rotational motion.