Originally Posted by **kiwiheretic** Tangential to the trajectory curve or perpendicular to the normal force? |

I was picking up on your description of v - I assume what you meant s v is the component of angular velocity, meaning orthogonal to radial velocity.

Originally Posted by **kiwiheretic** I'm trying remember if mv^2/r is strictly circular so that I would have to perform a vector decomposition into perpendicular and normal forces. (I may have to brush up on my vector calculus.) |

Yes, it's "circular," in the sense that the direction of v here is orthogonal to the radial vector. In polar coordinates there are two directional unit vectors: r_hat (which is radial) and phi_hat which is sometimes called "tangential." They are orthogonal to each other, much as in Cartesian coordinates x_hat and y_hat (sometimes written as i_hat and j_hat) are orthogonal. So yes, the object's'motion must be broken into these two directional components.

I suggest you go back and review post #2 in this thread - if there is something not clear in that please ask.