Experiment #5 – Centripetal Force
June 9, 2008
Erin Samplin
Group Member: Catie Destio
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Abstract
–
The main purpose of this laboratory experiment is to quantitatively determine the force
required to produce uniform circular motion, F
c
, and to verify the theoretical equation:
F
c
=mv
2
/R, where m= mass, v= velocity, and R= radius.
Students learned how to use a
rotating cross arm with an attached rotating mass.
Frequencies were measured for
various forces moving with uniform speed at a set radius.
Data recorded was used to plot
a graph of f
2
vs. F
c
.
The slope of this graph was calculated to be 3.520 N.
This value
yields a 0.71% error in comparison to the theoretical slope, 3.545 N.
Thus, the equation
F
c
=mv
2
/R is verified and can be used to measure centripetal force.
The value for the y
intercept, b, was experimentally calculated to 0.52.
Possible errors include gross error,
systematic error, and random error.
Discussion
–
Diagram
Equations
The following equations will be used in this laboratory experiment:
F
c
= 4π
2
mRf
2
where F
c
= centripetal force, m= mass, R= radius, and f= frequency of rotation.
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 Summer '08
 GARUTHARA
 Slope, Circular Motion, Force, Rotation

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