Rotation vs. Revolution

The main difference between rotation and revolution is that rotation is the circular motion of an object about its own axis while revolution is the circular motion of an object around any other object or body.

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Rotation vs. Revolution

Rotation and revolution are two words that are used interchangeably in our daily life. These two terms are related to circular motion and seem to mean the same, but there is a reasonable line of difference between them. Rotation is the spinning motion of an object about its own axis whereas revolution is the circular motion of an object around any other object or body. There is no any change in position in the result of rotation while revolution causes a change in position. Hands of the clock are an example of rotation while merry go round is an example of a revolution.

Comparison Chart

BasisRotationRevolution
DefinitionThe circular motion of a body around its own axis is known as rotation.The circular motion of a body around any other object or body is known as revolution.
AxisRotation is motion around an internal axis.Revolution is motion around an external axis.
PositionThere is no any change in position due to the rotation.Revolution causes a change in position.
EarthEarth rotates around its own axis and causes day and night.Earth revolves around the sun and causes different seasons.
ExampleThe motion of the hand of clocks is an example of rotation.The motion of merry go round is an example of revolution.
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What is the Rotation?

Rotation is defined as the circular motion or the spinning of an object or body around its own axis. An axis is an imaginary line that passes through the center of the body, and it is the point around which a three-dimensional body rotates. During rotation every point of the body will move in a circle around the central point so, the distance from the center to any other point of the body will be equal. Rotation does not cause a change in direction. It is expressed in degrees. When the rotation is in a clockwise direction, the degree will be positive, and if it is in an anticlockwise direction, the degree will be negative.

Example

Earth rotates around its own axis as a result causes day and night. Earth completes its rotation in 24 hours. It rotates from west to east due to which different countries have different time zones. Moreover, Stars and planets etc. also rotate around their own axis.

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What is Revolution?

Revolution is defined as the circular motion of a body or an object around any other body or object in a fixed orbit or path or, it may also be defined as the circular movement of a body around an external axis. It causes a change in the position of moving object. The distance traveled by the body in one revolution is actually its circumference.

Example

The earth revolves around the sun in a fixed elliptical path in an anticlockwise direction. It completes its single revolution in 365 days and 6 hours. This revolution of the earth around the sun causes a change in seasons. Because during the revolution which hemisphere will be closer to the sun will have summer season and when it will be farthest to the sun it will experiences winter.

Key Differences

  1. The circular motion of the body around its own axis is known as rotation whereas the circular motion of a body around any other point or object is known as revolution.
  2. The rotation has an internal axis while revolution has an external axis.
  3. Rotation located within the body of the moving object while revolution located outside the object.
  4. There is no any change in position due to rotation while the change in position takes place due to revolution.
  5. Earth rotates around its own axis from west to east and completes its cycle in 24 hours while earth revolves around the sun in an elliptical path and completes a single cycle in 365 days and 6 hours.
  6. Earth rotation causes a change in day and night cycle while the earth revolution causes a change in seasons.
  7. Spinning top or hand of clocks are examples of rotation while kids merry go round is an example of revolution.
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Comparison Video

Conclusion

From the above discussion, it is concluded that rotation is a circular motion around an internal axis of the moving body without any change in position while revolution is a circular motion around an external axis or point in a fixed path with a change in position of moving object.

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