# Centripetal Force And The Force Essay

Length: 1128 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

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Theory
Centripetal force is a force that makes and object move in a circular path. When an object moves in a circle it can have a constant speed where the magnitude of the velocity is the same but the direction is always changing so the velocity cannot be considered constant. For the velocity to change there must be an acceleration and from there on we can calculate the centripetal force. There are also instances where we don’t know the velocity but we know the time it takes to so from that we can get the velocity of the object that is traveling in the circle. Then by using the laws of conservation of energy we can figure out the height a ball must be dropped from to over come the force of gravity so it can make it around the loop.
Experimental Description
In this experiment we set up a Vernier Centripetal Force Apperatus and synched it with the computer to measure the force that it was generating. We measure the force with different masses and at different radii to see how they affected the magnitude of the force. Then after that data was recorded we sent a ball down a track through the loop testing the height the ball needed to be released at so it could make it through the loop with out falling down. The experiment as a whole provided us with a better understanding of centripetal force.
Results
For the first part of the experiment we used the Vernier Centripetal Force Apparatus to calculate the angular velocity of the cart on the end of the rod. First we took the cart off the mass and weighed it obtaining a value of .05kg. Then we attached the cart back to the apparatus and added a 100g mass to it making the total mass of the cart .15kg. Then we adjusted the radius between the cart and center of the apparatus to be .09m. Whe...

... middle of paper ...

...my computed height value I did not take into account the energy lost due to external forces such as friction. To gain more energy to overcome these forces the ball had to be dropped from a greater height so it could make it around the loop. The fraction of the potential energy lost can be found using the equation (actual h-computed h)/(actual h), when we plug our numbers in we find that the fraction of energy lost due to friction and track wobble is .22
Conclusion
The lab was performed as described and using the tools that were provided for us we were able to find the angular velocities and forces for part 1 of the experiment. Then all the percent errors were found and we moved on to part two and used the loop to get a better understand of how energy works and is conserved. The lab did a good job at showing how external factors can throw off your expected results.

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