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What are the physical quantities that affect the value of centripetal force when a body in circular motion? What is the force exerted on the object when the object is doing a horizontal circular motion?

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Physical Science Experiment Report

Centripetal Force

Name_____Lee Lai Shan______


Problem statement:

What are the physical quantities that affect the value of centripetal force when a body in circular motion?

What is the force exerted on the object when the object is doing a horizontal circular motion?


To determine the relationship between the angular velocity of a body in circular motion ,the centripetal force F necessary to maintain a constant angular velocity ,the mass m of the body and the radius R of the circular path.

Experimental design:


1 Rubber bund , 1 glass tube about 15 cm long , screw nuts with hook, 1.5 m of nylon string , small paper marker, metre rule ,stop-watch

ii)Description of Design:

        The rubber stopper that will be swinging around in a circle for this lab travels a distance equal to the circumference of a circle. Because the rubber stopper will be traveling more than once around the circle, the total distance will be equal to the number or revolutions times the circumference.

...read more.


image04.png50 revolutions of the bung is timed by a partner.The angular velocity is calculated.The experiment is repeated using different lengths L of the string.The results are tabulated.

Data and Data Analysis

Tabulate the results as follows:

        Mass of rubber bung m         =      0.02609   ±    0.00001        kg

        Mass of screw nut M         =        0.10135  ±  0.00001      kg

⇒ Tension in string T = Mg =    0.10135   × 9.8 N =  0.99323  N

The string is not horizontal as the rubber bung moves around .In fact , the bung moves in a circle of radius r=Lsinθ.The tension T thus provides both the centipetal force and a force to support the weight of the bung.

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The force exerted on the rubber bung include the centripetal force and gravitational pull of the object.

The direction of centripetal force is towards the centre of the circle and the gravitational pull is downward force.

The resultant force is along the string which pointing towards the centre of the circle.

3)What is the weight of the screw nuts in this experiment represents?

Since the tension in one single string is always the same at any point of the string, By T = Mg, the weight of the screw nuts is the tension of the string which equals to the centripetal force acting on the rubber bung.

4)How the forces on the revolving bung and the hanging screw nuts are related?                

By solving T=Mg and T=mω2L   Mg= T=mω2L

The weight of the screw nuts is equals to the centipetal force acts on the bung which directly proportion to the angular velocity of the bung.

Possible improvements of the experiment:

  1. The paper mark would sliding during the experiment.Thus highlight pens or marker pens is preferred to use to mark the position instead of paper marker.

...read more.

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