Motion of a Bead on a Spoke

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This Demonstration shows the motion of a bead moving at constant velocity on a spoke of a wheel. The wheel rotates with uniform angular velocity radians per second about an axis fixed in space.


Polar coordinates are used to describe the motion of the bead. The position vector in polar coordinates is .

Let the vectors and be orthogonal unit vectors given in Cartesian coordinates by



Then the velocity and acceleration of the bead in polar coordinates are given by




Contributed by: Diego Ramos  (December 2020)
(Universidad del Valle)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



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