Difference between Rotation and Revolution


While studying the circular motion in physics there comes two basic concepts to understand which are rotation and revolution. If you ask a kid in junior classes and he will give you the example of his spinning Bey-blade as a matter showing rotation while the constant motion of a car in a circular path is the best example of revolution. The answer of the kid is absolutely right, but did you find the the differences between these two different types of circular motions?


Rotation and revolution both of them are very important for us as human beings if we were to look at the rotation and revolution of earth around the sun. These two terminologies are the reasons of night and day and change of seasons on our planet. By term revolution we mean something that has made possible development of all sorts of automobiles that have helped us in faster and simpler transport. Though both types of circular motions are very and equally important, but there are some major differences that need to be highlighted.

Rotation is defined as the motion of a body in which the body moves in a circular motion around itself along a perpendicular axis. If we discuss the example of our own planet, earth we observe that the earth moves or rotates around its own perpendicular axis. But if we observe the motion of the earth around the sun, the earth travels in forward direction while rotating on its axis; this is an example of revolution. If we discuss rotation then in rotation the body does not actually move but stays in its original mean position while rotating on its axis. In rotation the position of the body actually changes and the body moves along a circular path either clockwise or anticlockwise direction. If we take the example of earth then the effects of both types of circular motion are different, when the earth turns around on its axis the change in day and night is noticed. When the earth rotates, half the portion of the earth which receives the light of the sun is illuminated while the portion of the earth which does not face the sun observes darkness.


When the earth moves or revolves around the sun along an elliptical path, different seasons are observed on earth due to its different positions in different times. As we know that the imaginary axis of the earth is inclined at an angle of 23 ½ degrees from the centre of the earth, the portion of the earth which is bend towards the sun notices summer season for half the year while the portion of the earth which is bend away from the sun notices winter season for half the year.

Difference between Rotation and Revolution


  • Rotation is the state of motion in which the body moves around its own axis without any change in its position while on the other hand revolution is the motion of a body along a circular path with continuous change in its position.

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