IBDP Physics Chapter 5 Notes

circular motion and gravitation


These notes have specially been curated by expert teachers to simplify and enlighten concepts given in IBDP Physics HL and SL. The notes are comprehensive in nature and are sufficient to study the chapter in depth and one need not look for other resources beyond the notes provided on our website which can be accessed for free. The notes for Mechanics IBDP Physics are available on our official website and can be downloaded for free. You are one click away from obtaining all that you need to score well in IB Physics HL and SL.

The curriculum for Physics IBDP is designed in such a way to bring students and readers alike to the frontiers of modern science and elevate the spirit of scientific inquiry in their minds. The topics in the syllabus range from the ancient science of the Greeks to modern disciplines like Atomic and Astrophysics, which makes the students aware of the entire spectrum of the discoveries and advances in Physics alongside the rationale and its purpose. As such the chapters are divided by classical and modern distinctions: classical chapters include Newtonian Mechanics describe the original theories of motion and movement, Thermodynamics talk about our original assumptions of ideal gas and principles of heat and temperature, while Electrodynamics cover the interconnected universe of electricity, magnetism and electromagnetic waves, and the various properties and phenomena associated with them.

In contrast lies the topics of Modern Science, ranging from Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics to the more advanced study of motion in Einstein’s Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. A complete understanding of these topics will render any reader with the amazing ability to apply Physics to every corner of life, ranging from the mundane to the extraordinary; prepare them prepare them for only a future in an advanced scientific discipline, but also in fields like Economics, Finance and Technology, all of which require a scientific mindset at their core.

In this chapter of Circular Motion and Gravitation, keeping in mind the previous discussion about periodic motion, we relate circular kinematical quantities like angular displacement, angular velocity and angular acceleration to their linear counterparts. We then delve into the cause of a circular, accelerated motion which is the centripetal force, a force which always acts towards the center, with various real-life applications like the revolution of the Earth, motion of a merry-go-round, the inclined curves of a road and others. Next, we discuss Newton’s Law of Gravitation, which quantifies the attractive force between two massive objects, and leads to various phenomena, notably the orbital motion of a satellite, movement of planets and stars, concepts of orbital and escape velocities, etc.