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# Aim: To investigate the factors which affect the speed of an object travelling in a circular path.

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Introduction

Planning - Circular Motion Background Knowledge: Circular motion is the rotation along a circle. When an object is in circular motion, it needs centripetal force. Circular motion involves acceleration of the moving object by a centripetal force which pulls the object towards the centre of the circular orbit, without this acceleration the object would move in a straight line. Circular motion is accelerated even though the speed is constant, because the velocity of the moving object is constantly changing. A special kind of circular motion is when an object rotates around its own centre of mass. This can be called spinning motion, or rotational motion. Circular motion is characterized by four variables; * an orbital radius, * a velocity, * the mass of the object which moves in a circle * the magnitude of the centripetal force, These quantities all relate to each other through the circular motion equation: Equation of circular motion is Figure 1 Fig1http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circular_motion Figure 2 Fig2http://hyperphysics.phyasastr.gsu.edu/HBASE/cf.html The centripetal force is directed towards the centre and is used in any motion in a curved path representing accelerated motion. The centripetal force is the force needed to move an object in a circle at constant speed. * The smaller the mass, the bigger the centripetal force. ...read more.

Middle

4.d 250 20.00 80.00 11.18 5.a 300 20.00 80.00 9.19 9.61 5.b 300 20.00 80.00 9.72 5.c 300 20.00 80.00 9.58 5.d 300 20.00 80.00 9.94 6.a 350 20.00 80.00 9.26 9.04 6.b 350 20.00 80.00 9.11 6.c 350 20.00 80.00 8.34 6.d 350 20.00 80.00 9.45 7.a 400 20.00 80.00 8.72 8.37 7.b 400 20.00 80.00 8.42 7.c 400 20.00 80.00 8.35 7.d 400 20.00 80.00 7.99 Key: hello = anomaly Figure 3: Diagram of apparatus Method: * First we measured the radius of the centre of the bung, the weight acts here. Then we marked the radius with a piece of blue tape as the point of radius, so that the distance can be established when spinning the bung around in order to ensure accuracy. We knew that we were spinning the bung around with the correct radius by making sure that the blue tape was kept just under the plastic tube. * We counted the revolutions by lining the rotations up with our partner who was timing on the stop-clock. * We then made sure that the orbit of the bung must rotate in a circle horizontally to make it a fair test, this is important because firstly it is less dangerous than if you were swinging it around vertically and also the radius would be more accurate. ...read more.

Conclusion

* We counted more than one revolution in my experiment because you cannot time it properly due to human reaction times. So we counted twenty revolutions for best accuracy. * Then we repeated the same twenty revolutions four times to ensure accuracy and so that anomalies could be determined. I ensured that I made my experiment a fair test, by controlling the radius to stay the same constantly from the bung to the plastic tube; I did this by making sure that the blue tape stayed in its place, just below the plastic tube. I also made sure that I controlled the mass of the bung as, as it became heavier it became harder to control so I made certain that it swung around properly in a horizontal circle. I also tried to control the velocity to make it a fair test, but this was less easy to control as it easily changed from slow to fast or fast to slow, without me realizing. Therefore the centripetal force was also much more difficult to control, but I still tried, because it was important to keep it constant, to make it a fair test. I did this by being mainly concerned about the bung swinging around horizontally, as this would mainly cover all the four factors of circular motion by just getting the bung to swing around horizontally. By Anil Vaghela 10SAC ...read more.

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