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Q & A: Rotation & Oscillation

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
What is the difference between osalating motion and rotational motion.
- Vincent (age 11)
toronto,ontario,canada
A:
Vincent -

Rotational motion is when something is moving in a circle - like if I took a ball on a string and swung it around my head. Oscillating motion is when something is going back and forth and back and forth. For the ball on a string example, the oscillating motion would be if you looked at the ball from the side. You couldn't see it spinning around, but it would look as if it were going from one side to the other and back. Oscillating motion actually works in a specific way where the object moves fastest when it's in the middle and slows down at the edges. For the ball on a string, this is exactly how it looks from the side.

-Tamara

(published on 10/22/2007)

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