Physics 2LA Centripetal Force (**Includes Pre Lab Assignment) Introduction: This lab has a different style then your previous labs. It is meant to lead you through the process of testing for yourself the physical theory of centripetal force. A good scientist (or good doctor, or prudent person) will always, when told some new idea, ask whether or not it is actually true. SETUP AND OPERATION OF THE APPARATUS: The apparatus provided is a Centripetal Force Accessory (trolley track, trolley, weight hanger and strings) mounted on the Introductory Rotational Apparatus as shown in Figure 1. The trolley track is mounted along a diameter of the platter of the Rotational Apparatus as shown in the Figure. In order for the trolley to rotate with the platter, a centripetal force is required, accelerating the trolley toward the axis of rotation. This is applied by a hanging mass, suspended by a pulley through a hole in the axis of the spinning platter. Figure 1 - Centripetal Force ApparatusTo begin, the platter is rotated by handjust fast enoughto push the trolley lightly against the stop at the end of the track, so the centripetal force is supplied, in part by the push of the stop. Friction slows the rotation of the platter, gradually decreasing the rotational velocity of the trolley. Eventually the centripetal force provided by the hanging mass exceeds the force required to maintain the circular motion of the trolley, and the trolley is pulled inward. At the instant before the trolley begins to move inward, the acceleration of the trolley is just balanced by the centripetal
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