Circular Motion Lab
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Abstract:
The relationship between force and uniform circular motion was determined in this part
of the lab. It was performed by measuring the centripetal force as a function of angular velocity,
mass, and radius of the circle. For the experiment, the rotating arm was set up with motion sensor
with wire to measure the angular velocity and centripetal force exerted by the tension of the
string. Three experiments were completed and first part of the lab was measuring the tension in
the string as a function of angular velocity by keeping the radius and mass the same, and the
second part was keeping a fixed radius and angular velocity while measuring the tension as a
function of different masses. As the last part, the tension was measured as a function of radius by
varying the distances of the mass while keeping the mass and angular velocity constant. As a
result, theoretical slopes should be
slope
=
m×r
for the first part,
slope
=
ω
2
×r
for the
second part, and
slope
=
m×ω
2
for the last part. Experimental slopes were 0.026 kg.m with
percent error of 13.3%, 1.8 m(rad/s)
2
with percent error of 40%, and 4.7 kg (rad/s)
2
with percent
error of 24.8%.
Introduction:
The goal of this experiment was to understand the concept of centripetal acceleration by
experimentally measuring the force necessary for uniform circular motion. Since the object is
moving in a circular path, the object must be accelerating due to the change in direction of the
velocity although the speed was constant. Newton’s second law of motion states that the net
force of an object is directly proportional to its mass multiply by the acceleration. Since there is
centripetal acceleration which is equal to velocity over the radius in circular motion, then
F
net
=
m a
c
=
m v
2
r
. If the object is moving faster or it travels in a smaller circle with smaller
radius, the centripetal acceleration increases. In this lab, the net force was contributed by the
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 Spring '08
 SAMPOGNA
 Physics, Circular Motion, Force, Mass

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