# What is centripetal acceleration?

## Meaning of Centripetal Acceleration

Centripetal acceleration (ca), also called **normal or radial acceleration** , is a **type of acceleration** that occurs in bodies that form a circular or curvilinear path.

Centripetal acceleration (“ *center seeking* ”) is a **vector quantity** that acts on **circular motion** causing the motion to change direction along the path.

This acceleration is directed towards the center of the trajectory. It is also known as **normal acceleration** l.

When a mobile moves in a **uniform circular motion** , it describes a path. This path forms an arc of a circle.

The orientation (direction) of **centripetal acceleration** is turned toward the center of the path, with constant modulus, because the velocity and radius of the path are constant.

Because it is a **vector quantity** , it has the following characteristics:

**Module:**is the value found for the acceleration;**Direction:**it is perpendicular to the speed of the vector for each point of the trajectory;**Orientation:**it is oriented towards the center of the trajectory where the mobile is located;

## Centripetal acceleration

The centripetal acceleration exists only in the **movements of curved trajectories** and does not depend on the type of movement, whether it is varied or uniform.

It is worth mentioning that if the **modulus varies** , the direction of movement can change.

## Period

When this mobile travels along this trajectory with **scalar velocity** , it travels a distance in a given time. So we call this a **period of revolution** .

The period or period of revolution is defined as the time a mobile spends to travel a closed path.

We use the following formula to **calculate the Period** :