Kinematics of Rigid bodies


Angular velocity: The angular velocity w of a vector R is itself a vector which has a magnitude equal to the rate of rotation, and is pointing along the axis of rotation of R, following the right-hand rule where the thumb is along the axis of rotation and the other fingers provide the sense in which R is rotating around the axis of rotation. The units of angular velocity are in radians over a suitable unit of time.


Angular acceleration: The angular acceleration a is the rate of change of the angular velocity with respect to time.



The derivative of a constant length vector (lemma): If the length of vector R is constant (|R| = constant), then one can calculate its derivative with respect to time using the formula





Mehrdad Negahban and the University of Nebraska, 1996-2000.

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Department of Engineering Mechanics, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68588-0526