Why do we say that objects moving in a circle have acceleration even if their speed remains constant?

Because their speed might remain constant, but their velocity doesn't. Remember, velocity is a vector, so it has magnitude (which is the speed of the object), but also direction. For an object moving in a circle (or along any curve, for that matter), the direction of the velocity is constantly changing. This change in the velocity vector is explained by an acceleration pointing towards the centre of the circle called centripetal acceleration.

Answered by Boris A. Physics tutor

902 Views

See similar Physics GCSE tutors
Illustration of a video tutorial

Need help with Physics?

One to one online tuition can be a great way to brush up on your Physics knowledge.

Have a Free Meeting with one of our hand picked tutors from the UK’s top universities

Find a tutor

Related Physics GCSE answers

All answers ▸

A 4.74 kW kettle holds 1kg of water at a room temperature of 21 °C. How long would it take the kettle to bring all the water to a boiling point of 100 °C? Assume the kettle is 100% efficient and the specific heat capacity of water is 4200 j/kg.


How do you calculate the specific heat capacity of a substance?


What is electricity


What is are elastic and inelastic collisions?


We're here to help

contact us iconContact usWhatsapp logoMessage us on Whatsapptelephone icon+44 (0) 203 773 6020
Facebook logoInstagram logoLinkedIn logo

© MyTutorWeb Ltd 2013–2022

Terms & Conditions|Privacy Policy