• Unit 9: Angular Momentum

    Why do tornadoes spin so rapidly? The answer is that the air masses that produce tornadoes are themselves rotating, and when the radii of the air masses decrease, their rate of rotation increases. An ice skater increases her spin in an exactly analogous way. The skater starts her rotation with outstretched limbs and increases her spin by pulling them in toward her body. The same physics describes the spin of a skater and the wrenching force of a tornado. Clearly, force, energy, and power are associated with rotational motion. These and other aspects of rotational motion are covered in this unit. We will see that all important aspects of rotational motion either have already been defined for linear motion or have exact analogs in linear motion.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 16 hours.