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Tangential and Normal Components of Acceleration

In general a (acceleration) is not tangent to the path. So, we conveniently resolve the acceleration into tangent and normal to the path of the particle.

Let                               el = unit vector tangent to path at point pat time t

e; = unit vector tangent to path at point P’ at time t+ ∆t.

or de / dθ is a unit vector and is perpendicular to et . Let us call it en which is normal to de the path of the particle.

Since V is tangent to the path, so

Now, -de / dt = de / dθ , dθ /ds , ds /dt , [ do /ds = 1/p ,p is the radius of curvature of the path of particle

de  /dt = en . (1/p ) v = v /p en

 

Substituting the value of de t /dt from (2.10) in (2.9), we get,

Thus the scalar components of a are

at = dv /dt ,an= v2 p