Encyclopedia > Angular frequency

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Angular frequency

Imagine an object, moving in a circle.

In a circle there are 2π radians. A radian is a measurement of angle, and is more convenient than the degree when doing calculations.

If the object completes one circle in T seconds, then the angular frequency, ω, is given by

ω = 2π/T

ω has units s-1.

Using angular frequency in the equations is often a convenient shorthand, as it hides π symbols.

As circular motion[?] viewed 'edge on' is analagous to simple harmonic motion, ω will often appear in the equations of SHM.

For example:

a = -ω2 x

Using 'ordinary' frequency, this equation would be a lot uglier:

a= - 4π2f2 x

ω is related to 'ordinary' frequency by the equation:


This is easily seen, as


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