Centripetal Force
By Thomas Nguyen, Lab#

The Centripetal force is the force acting on an object following a circular path. This force always acts toward the center of the circular path, thus the meaning of “centripetal” (to move in the center). In this experiment, we will prove that the magnitude of centripetal force is

Magnitude of angular velocity: ω= dθ/dt=(ds/dt)/r

Experimental Setup:
Various sensors (force and rotation) are connected to a rotation apparatus in order to measure the force pulling on a mass moving in a circular path. In addition to the force, the angular velocity will be recorded in conjunction. By mounting a weight to the end of the rotation apparatus, a measured total mass can be measured by hanging it vertically. Using rubber bands to create tension, we mount the mass horizontally and pull it back about half-way and let go for it to rock back and forth. The motion of the angular velocity and force pulling the object will be recorded into a Data logger.

The mass of the force sensor consists of two parts, internal and external mass which all add up to the total mass found by hanging the force sensor vertically.

The radius will then be measured, consisting of an internal and external radius.
Using the data recorded, we will use LoggerPro, a computer software, to plot the measured centripetal force to the theoretical yield.

Measurments | Internal | External |
Mass | 8±2 g | 126±30 g |
Radius | 10.7±0.5 cm | 15±0.3 cm |

Using data column:
δw= Ʌθ/Ʌt=1rad/57.3(0.05)s=0.349 rad/s δm= 1.3 g


The equation of centripetal force was found to be accurate in the graph of centripetal force. A majority of the linear curve fell into the area of the error bars. Using the proper parameters and the equation of centripetal force,, the graph of...