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Beginning Math and Physics for Game Programmers by Wendy Stahler

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Rotational Dynamics

The preceding section described the angular equivalent of Chapter 8. Now we can talk about angular displacement, velocity, and acceleration. The last thing we need to look at is what causes rotational motion. In Chapter 11, “Newton's Laws,” you looked at what causes linear motion. Basically, Newton's Second Law says that adding up all the forces acting on an object determines how the object accelerates as a result of the net force being applied. We assumed that all these forces were acting on the object's center of mass, so the result was a simple translation. But what if the force is applied to one of the vertices? That would cause the object to rotate about the center of mass rather than just translating the entire object. ...

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