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Objective: To study the forces involved in the motion of a body moving with constant speed

in a circular path.

Introduction :

Circular motion refers to the movement of object with its velocity and tangential

acceleration always perpendicular to the centripetal force. There are various types of circular

motion, both include circular motion with constant speed, which is Uniform Circular Motion

(For example, Horizontal plane, Conical Pendulum, Motorcycle and car in circular path road,

Movement of Satellites, Constant magnetic field circular motion, and gravitational attraction),

and Nonuniform circular motion, which the speed varies, including swinging rope in vertical

line under gravity, and roller coaster movement. In this lab, we will study about the feature of

uniform circular motion. When a particle moves in a circle with constant speed, the motion is

called uniform circular motion. In uniform circular motion, there will be only centripetal

acceleration that always perpendicular to velocity.

In this experiment, we will explore the feature of circular motion in horizontal plane

circular motion, with the relation of radius and the hook mass, to calculate centripetal force

as well as the change of centripetal due to change of tension of rope from the change of

hook mass. Also, we will use the Newton first law of motion and second law of motion to

predict the trajectory of the metal ball after the string that holds metal objects breaks.

Materials:

1. Rope

2. Glass tube

3. Upper Clip

4. Two Weight Hanger with mass 50 grams and 100 grams.

5. Stop watch

6. String

7. Metal ball with mass 50 grams.

8. Goggles.

Procedure :

2. Pass the string through the tube and attach the disk on the top of tube.

3. Hang a hook mass of 50g on the other end of the string

4. Hold the tube vertical and swing the disk in a circular path in horizontal plane.

5. Adjust the speed of rotation of the disk and the radius so that the hooked mass is just

supported by the string

6. Start the motion with the tube at arm’s length and above the head.

7. Count and record the number of revolution in 30 seconds.

8. Grasp the string at the bottom of the tube to mark the position of the string while the

disk is moving. Measure the distance from the top of the tube to the center of the

disk.

9. Change the radius of rotation. Use smaller value and larger one.

10. Repeat steps 3-9 using hooked mass of 100g.

of Acceleration l Force Hooked Fc & Mg

revolutio mass

n

metal cm/s cm/s2 Dynes dynes

object

30 cm

radius

50 gram

hooked

mass

metal cm/s cm/s2 Dynes dynes

object

60 cm

radius

50 gram

hooked

mass

metal cm/s cm/s2 Dynes dynes

object

30 cm

radius

100 gram

hooked

mass

metal cm/s cm/s2 Dynes dynes

object

60 cm

radius

100 gram

hooked

mass

metal cm/s Dynes dynes

object

30 cm

radius

50 gram

hooked

mass

metal cm/s cm/s2 Dynes dynes

object

30 cm

radius

100 gram

hooked

mass

Analysis of Results:

According to the result of the experiment, we conclude that radius has an effect on

velocity, centripetal acceleration, and centripetal force; where radius is directly proportional

to velocity, and inversely proportional to centripetal acceleration, and centripetal force,

Therefore, if radius of the circle increases, velocity of the metal ball will also increase, and

centripetal acceleration will decrease. Apart from the previous point, mass of the metal ball is

directly proportional to centripetal force; that means if mass increases, Fc will also increase.

Next, mass of hook is directly proportional to the tension of rope as well as

centripetal force. In the experiment, the metal is moving in horizontal circular motion while

the hook remains stationary. Since it is same rope, the tension in the end of string is equal to

the tension in all position of rope. According to Newton’s second law of motion, the tension in

the end of rope is equal to mass of the hook multiply by gravity. Since gravity is constant

value, it means that tension is directly proportional the mass of the hook. That means if hook

mass is increased, tension in rope will also increase all well. Since tension of rope is the

factor that affects centripetal force, if mass of hook and tension are increased, centripetal

force will also increase.

Since circular movement in experiment falls into horizontal line circular motion, we

can conclude that there are three forces from the outsider view and four forces from object’s

view or reference of object that act on metal ball. The first force is tension, which exerts from

the object to the origin of rope. The second force is Centripetal force which acts from metal

object to the center. Since it is uniform circular motion with constant speed, its value is

constant. The third force is gravity, which will always act pass through center of gravity,

which is the point that all force passes through metal ball. The fourth force is Centrifugal

force. This force isn’t count in regular physics calculation because physics calculation is

always from view of outsider. It is only in the reference of the ball, not the viewer. This force

can only be feel by the metal ball itself. So, if you were the ball, you would feel that you are

acted by this force out of the trajectory of circle. Since you are still in rest, we can conclude

that the magnitude of centrifugal force is equal to tension in rope and centripetal force,

however its direction is opposite of both forces. Due to Newton 2nd law, in the view of object

that has acceleration, this force is needed. Its acts at CM of the balls. This force shouldn’t

include in regular free body diagram.

Lastly, if the string that holds the whirling metal objects in circular path breaks, there

will be no force other than gravity acts to it. Which means tension equals zero. Since an

object isn’t be in circular path anymore, there will be no centripetal force and centrifugal

force. There is only gravity acts on it. According to Newton 1st law, since sigma force equals

zero, the objects want to maintain its motion as straight line, it will continue move in straight

line “for a while (very short period of time).” However, since the object is moving under

gravity which is constant acceleration, it will continue moving as projectile/parabolic path

after straight line with initial velocity tangent to original circle. The calculation can be used as

simple projectile motion. However, since projectile motion calculation in high school doesn’t

calculate the effect of air drag which acts against gravity, it doesn’t really accurate if it is

used in real life.

Conclusion:

From the result of experiment, we can conclude that there is only component of

centripetal acceleration which acts in uniform circular motion, there is no component of

acceleration parallel (tangent) to the path; otherwise, the speed would change. The major

factors that affect the component of circular motion are radius, which is directly proportional

to velocity and inversely proportional to centripetal acceleration and centripetal force. Also,

mass of hook can cause major change in the motion, because it is directly proportional to

tension of rope as well as centripetal force. Since its speed, centripetal acceleration, and

centripetal force are constant all the way, we can conclude that this experiment really shows

the features of uniform circular motion.

Recommendation:

For further experiment, we recommend to swing the rope more quickly and try to

make the trajectory become in horizontal line, not conical pendulum line. Since the conical

pendulum circular motion has angle between rope and laboratorian hand, we would need to

use the help of trigonometry to calculate thing like tension, which is the major factor that will

change centripetal force. Also, people’s eye are lack of accuracy to watch the revolution of

the metal ball to get the exact value. Instead of swinging 30 second, I recommend to test in

only 10 to 15 second, but increase the experiment time to 10 round. After 10 round of

experiment, we can plus all result and ten divided by ten. Also, we could use “root-mean-

square” method to create more accurate result. This will lessen the error from the

experiment.

Work log:

Members Works

Write the introduction

Record the result

Write the Analysis of Results

Write conclusion

Write the work log

Write materials

Write Data and Results

Write Procedure

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