Uniform Circular Motion

Uniform Circular Motion - Uniform Circular Motion Author...

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Uniform Circular Motion Author: Colleen Doorhy Partners: Brittany Denning and Dave Rickets PY 211 Lab Sec 220 Performed: October 23, 2007 Submitted: October 30, 2007
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I. Introduction A. Objective: The purpose of this experiment was to measure the centripetal acceleration and show that it depends on the speed of the object and the radius of the circle. This experiment contains six different measurements of radius, mass, and time. To compute the centripetal force, the frequency of rotation of an object moving in a circular path was calculated. B. Theory Centripetal acceleration and centrifugal force is what people experience when they are on a ride at an amusement park. The centripetal force is what is holding the person in the ride. If the force were removed, one would move off in a direction tangent to the circular path. This force can be determined with a few measurements and calculations. Some variables must be known to determine the centripetal force required to keep a mass moving in a circular path with a constant speed. For a body moving in a circular path with constant speed the magnitude of the velocity does not change, but the direction of the velocity vector constantly changes. This motion is called uniform circular motion, motion in a circular path at constant speed. Since the velocity vector is changing in time, the object in uniform circular motion is accelerating. It has to be remembered that velocity is delta x over delta t or: t x v = (1) where delta x is the circumference of a circle (2пr) and delta t is the time it takes to go around the circle. The acceleration is directed toward the center of a circle; therefore, the magnitude of centripetal acceleration, a c , is given by: r v a c 2 = (2) This equation is what this experiment is trying to prove. Where a c is the centripetal acceleration, v is the velocity, and r is the radius of the circle. The magnitude of the velocity vector can be determined by measuring the distance the object travels per unit time. If T is the period (length of time needed for the object to make one complete revolution), then the speed is equal to the distance traveled in the one revolution (2п r ), divided by the period: T r v Π = 2 (3)
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