Centripetal Force
Lab 9
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Objective:
In this experiment our goal is to compare the experimental and theoretical values
of the centripetal force of a mass rotated in a circle.
By comparing the values we are in
effect verifying Newton’s 2
nd
Law
F=ma
Description
A mass will be rotated around a metal bar.
We will then attempt to find the
centripetal force by measuring the period, radius, mass all which allow us to find the
force theoretically.
We will also find the force experimentally by hanging weights from
the mass until it reaches its original radius.
This experiment was repeated with the
smallest, largest, and a median radius value.
Theory
The equation below allows us to theoretically find the centripetal force.
R is the
radius of the circle in which the object is traveling, m is the mass of the object,
ϖ
is the
objects angular velocity.
F=mR
ϖ
2
The angular velocity is found by the equation
ϖ
=2
π/Τ
Τ
he period of the object’s motion is symbolized by T.
This equation comes from
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 Fall '05
 LENIHAN
 Physics, Force, Mass, Rotation, Longest Radius

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