• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12

Investigating the factors that affect the velocity of an object moving in a circle.

Extracts from this document...


Saeed Mian Physics Coursework

Investigating the factors that affect the velocity of an object moving in a circle.

Preliminary Experiment


Our aim is to investigate the factors that affect the velocity of an object moving in a circle. In addition, our aim for the preliminary is to devise a suitable method to make our proper plan a more efficient and accurate method.

Background Information

Whenever an object moves in a circular path the object is accelerating because the velocity is constantly changing direction. All accelerations are caused by a net force acting on an object. In the case of an object moving in a circular path, the net force is a special force called the centripetal force, not centrifugal. Centripetal is Latin for "centre seeking". Therefore, a centripetal force is a centre seeking force that means that the force is always directed toward the centre of the circle. Without this force, an object will simply continue moving in straight-line motion.


The formula for centripetal force is where m represents the mass of the object v is the speed (magnitude of the velocity) and r is the radius from the centre of the circle to the object. A centripetal force ends up being a net force and a net force always causes acceleration in the direction of the net force. Therefore, if the force is centre seeking (centripetal)

...read more.



I predict that the larger the radius of the circle the faster the bung on the end of the string will turn. I also predict that the increase in speed of the turning bung will be directly proportional to the increase in size of the radius. Therefore, as the radius increases the velocity should decrease in direct proportion to our enlargement in radius.

I predict this because image12.png Where f = force, m = mass, v = velocity and r = radius Therefore, the velocity squared will be directly proportional to the radius.



For this experiment, firstly we set up the experiment as in the diagram. We measured the length of the wire from the end of the plastic tubing to the centre of mass of the bung. The weight at the bottom of the experiment was set to 100g. We used 30cms as the initial length and timed the time it took to do 20 rotations on a horizontal plane. We used a stopwatch to record the timing and relied on human reaction to make the results accurate. To make sure the rotations were counted correctly we lined it up with an object in the background so it would be easier to pick out and see the one full rotation.

Variable: Radius of the Orbit




Crocodile Clip



Stop Clock

Metre Ruler

Preliminary Results

Radius Of Circle (cms)

Time Taken To Complete 20 Rotations (s)













Preliminary Conclusion

...read more.


Further work that could be done to provide additional relevant evidence would be to continue the experiment past two repeats. In addition, different experiments can be done with more rotations and larger radii. With these extensions the plan would remain the same with the experiment set up in the same way. The same variables will be kept constant with only the radius of the orbit being changed.

Furthermore, we could also do further experiments to see how other factors such as varying the weight of the bung or object at the end of the fishing wire will affect the velocity of an object moving in a circle. This can be done with the same method again and controlling the same factors as well as the radius of the orbit and the only variable would be the weight at the end of the fishing wire. The experiment could be done more accurately by using more technology such as motion sensors and a data logger as stated above.

Page  of

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Forces and Motion section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Forces and Motion essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Factors Influencing Resistance of a Wire

    3 star(s)

    Therefore the type of wire has a large affect on the resistance of the wire. As you can easily see in the pictures above the simple cubic unit cell has far less atoms that an electron could collide with than the orthorhombic face centred unit cell.

  2. How does the weight of an object affect the friction it has on the ...

    Conclusion: Because the correlation on my graph is positive, this proves that my hypothesis was correct, that as the weight of the block of wood increased, so did the fore needed to overcome it. As the weight of an object increases, the friction occurring between the object and the surface

  1. Investigate the factors which affect the terminal velocity of a falling object.

    * Measurement of radius: Each measurement is has an absolute error of ?0.005mm as each measurement is given to the nearest 0.01mm. * Measurement of time: Human error as well as reaction times can make a large contribution to any errors in the experiment.

  2. Investigating the Factors Which Affect the Motion of a Trolley Down an Inclined Plane

    - Power Pack - Stopwatch - Stopper Method: To carry out this investigation we will work in groups of three or four, as this will make it less complex. 1. Collect the equipment as shown in the apparatus list above.

  1. This investigation is associated with the bounce of a squash ball. I will be ...

    the temperature is the same all the way throughout the ball so it will have an affect on the pressure. After I have done this I'm ready to investigate the bounce of the squash ball, see next page for more.

  2. Aim: To investigate the factors which affect the speed of an object travelling in ...

    The smaller the velocity of the object, the less centripetal force we will have to apply. If the plastic tube moves in a small circle, the greater the radius and therefore the less centripetal force we will have to apply to the rope.

  1. My prediction is that as the height of the runway is increased, the velocity ...

    They are: 1. Dividing the distance of the runoff by the time taken for the object to go from the beginning of the runoff to the end of the runoff. This method assumes that the object does not accelerate or decelerate when it goes on the runoff.

  2. How the mass and speed of a moving object and how this affects its ...

    I know that the mass and the stopping distance or displacement are directly proportion because of the information above. S = m x v2 2xF The bracketed part of this equation is a constant. This is why I can say s is directly proportional to the m.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work