This set is currently a work in progress. It will cover terms and concepts from A Beka Book Physics: The Foundational Science, Chapter 13: "Rotary Motion" (pages 186-205).

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  • angular motion

    term that describes any body or particle moving around an axis


    term for a center of rotation

    circular motion

    term that describes a particle orbiting an external axis, like the planets orbiting the sun

    rotary motion

    term that describes a particle spinning on its own internal axis, like the sun


    abbreviation for radians


    abbreviation for arc length

    θ (theta)

    Greek letter that indicates an angle

    ω (omega)

    Greek letter that stands for angular velocity

    α (alpha)

    Greek letter that stands for angular acceleration


    abbreviation for rotational intertia


    abbreviation for torque


    abbreviation for angular momentum

    arc length

    term for the linear distance from one point to another on a circular path

    rim speed

    term for the linear speed of a point on the rim of a rotating body


    term for the measure of an angle that, when its vertex is set upon the center of a circle, subtends an arc equal in length to the radius of that circle

    angular displacement

    term for the amount of rotation accomplished by a rotating body

    angular velocity

    term for the change in an object's angular displacement per unit time

    average angular velocity

    term for angular displacement divided by time

    angular acceleration

    term for a change in angular velocity


    The farther a point is from the center of rotation, the greater the _____ distance.


    term for a straight line that is perpendicular to a given point's radius on the circle

    rotational inertia

    term for a body's resistance to rotary motion


    Rotational inertia depends on how ___ is distributed.

    moment of inertia

    another name for rotational inertia


    inertia equation

    radius of a force (torque arm)

    term for a vector directed from the center of rotation to the point where the force is applied, with a magnitude equal to the distance between these points

    torque (moment of a force)

    term for the quantitative measurement of rotational motion caused by an applied force


    equation for the law of torque

    angular acceleration

    For a body of given rotational inertia, changes in torque bring proportional changes in ____ ____.

    angular momentum

    term for rotary momentum


    term for a heavy spinning disk contained in many machines

    right-hand rule

    rule that says that if you curl the fingers of your right hand in the direction of rotation, your thumb will stick out in the direction of angular momentum


    term for any solid object rotating about a fixed axis

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