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Inquiry: Centripetal Force

Purpose: To validate the centripetal force equation.


The first black marking on the string is the 20 cm mark. To find the linear velocity you will have to multiply the angular velocity by the radius. The stoppers are numbered.

#3 (0.011 kg), #4 (0.014 kg),
#6 (0.021 kg), #7 (0.028 kg)

  • Experiment 1: Constant radius (0.4 m). Constant mass (#3). Change force (0.25 N, 0.49 N, 0.74 N, 0.98 N). Plot V2 versus F and determine % error of slope.

  • Experiment 2: Constant radius (0.4 m). Constant force (0.98 N). Change mass (#3, #4, #6, #7). Plot V2 versus m-1 and determine % error of slope.

  • Experiment 3: Constant force (0.98 N). Constant mass (#4). Change radius (0.20 m, 0.30 m, 0.40 m, 0.50 m). Plot V2 versus radius and determine % error of slope.

Inquiry Questions:

  1. Insert all graphs and percent error calculations into your notebook.

  2. A 1.00 kg mass is swung around in a 1.00 m radius circle at 4.00 rev/s. What is the magnitude of the force causing the mass to move in a circle?