Centripetal Acceleration Essay

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Centripetal acceleration Introduction Centripetal acceleration is the force that is felt when going through a circular path. Anybody who has ever been on a roller coaster knows how this force feels. This feeling is often described as centrifugal force, although there is no actual force pushing or pulling passengers away from the circle. The force felt is your body’s resistance to the roller coasters change in direction: your body wants to continue in a straight line and attempts to do so as the train turns. The purpose of this experiment was to measure centripetal acceleration and a centripetal force of a mass. The mass was then hung on an apparatus and attached to a spring. The mass was then rotated. The centripetal force was calculated using measurements of radius of the path, the time it takes to revolve around that path, and the mass. Procedure The group first took measurements such as the mass of the object, the radius of the rotation, the tension of the mass when we attached it to the apparatus. The mass (m) of the object was weighed in at .446 kg. We found the radius of the rotation by measuring the distance between the pointer and the holder. We also had to add in the radius of both poles to find the true radius of the rotation. We used a vernier caliper to obtain the diameter of those two and therefore, the radius. When adding all the numbers together, we found that the true radius(r) of the orbit was 0.139 m. To find our tension, we needed to find out how much weight we needed to pull the object towards away from the spring and on the tip of the pointer as shown below. The tension needed to pull the mass on the tip of the pointer 1.05 kg. In theory the force of acceleration needed to pull the mass to same exact spot should equal the force of tension multiplied by the force due to gravity. Using Newton’s second law, F=ma, we know that the

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