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Measurement of centripetal force required for circular motion

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Physics TAS I Date: 8th Oct, 2004 Title: Measurement of centripetal force required for circular motion Objective: To measure the centripetal force required for a mass whirling around a horizontal circle and compare the result obtained with the theoretical value F=mw�r. Apparatus: 1 rubber bung, 1 glass tube, screw nuts, 1 nylon string, 1 paper marker, I metre rule, 1 stop watch, 1 balance Set-up: Procedure: 1. The centripetal force apparatus should be constructed as shown in the above diagram. 2. The length of the nylon string that was under investigation was measured (e.g. 0.3 m) from the centre of the rubber bung to the glass tube and the particular length L was marked with a paper marker. ...read more.


A uniform whirling speed should also be maintained throughout the experiment. 3. A certain distance will be kept from your partner when whirling the rubber bung. 4. The time should be counted after the circular motion of the rubber bung became steady. 5. A reasonable range of length of the string should be selected. Theories: When the rubber bung is whirling around a circle with a radius r equals to Lsin?, where ? is the angle between the glass tube and the string, the centripetal force F required for circular motion of the rubber bung is provided by the tension T of the string. ?F= Tsin? = mw�r = mw� Lsin? ?T=mw�L, regardless of the angle ?. ...read more.


2. L(measured)>L(true):The edge of the glass tube was rough, hence the measured length might not be accurate, in such case L might be larger than the actual value. 3. m(measured)>m(true): This might be due to the reading error when using the balance. 4. M(measured)<M(true): This might be due to the reading error when obtaining the weight of the screw nuts. Suggestions for a higher accuracy: 1. A certain position should be marked when the stop watch started to count and the same position should be reached when the stop watch was stopped. 2. A glass rod of smooth edge should be used. 3. Instead of a balance, an electronic balance might be used. Percentage error: Conclusion: The centripetal force measured in this experiment is slightly smaller than the theoretical value. ...read more.

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