CORRECTION in problem statement: All units for this problem should be in SI. Please use r = 0.5 m and v_P = 10 m/s.
Discussion and hints:
Using the path description, we know that there are two components of the acceleration vector: one that is tangent to the path (the rate of change of speed), and one that is normal to the path and pointing inward toward the center of curvature (the centripetal component). The tangential component of acceleration will point:
- in the direction of motion if the speed is increasing,
- in the opposite direction of motion if the speed is decreasing, and
- will be zero if the speed is constant.
All three situations are shown in the above animation - are you able to see these?
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