What is Centripedal: Definition and 25 Discussions

A centripetal force (from Latin centrum, "center" and petere, "to seek") is a force that makes a body follow a curved path. Its direction is always orthogonal to the motion of the body and towards the fixed point of the instantaneous center of curvature of the path. Isaac Newton described it as "a force by which bodies are drawn or impelled, or in any way tend, towards a point as to a centre". In Newtonian mechanics, gravity provides the centripetal force causing astronomical orbits.
One common example involving centripetal force is the case in which a body moves with uniform speed along a circular path. The centripetal force is directed at right angles to the motion and also along the radius towards the centre of the circular path. The mathematical description was derived in 1659 by the Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens.

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  1. L

    B Busting the myth about achieving artificial gravity by rotating a body

    Movement isn't required to achieve gravity, even the artificial kind. Standing on a rotating body requires you to be actually physically standing on it. How is this achieved? Well, by gravity of course. Unless you are tied/stuck to the rotating body, but in that case there is no gravity pushing...
  2. A

    I Understanding tension and centripedal force in a puck and weight

    For practice I did the following problem: Solving this problem mechanically was simple enough using the following force diagrams: Then $$F_{net_M} = T - Mg = 0$$ Due to the stationary condition $$T = mg$$ and $$F_{net_m} = T = ma_c$$ $$T = ma_c$$ Because centripedal acceleration is...
  3. physicaled

    Solve Satellite Velocity Homework: Find Moon's Velocity

    Homework Statement On the surface of a distant planet, objects experience an acceleration due to gravity of 20 m/s2. The distance from the center of the planet to its surface is 8.0 * 106 m. Find the velocity of a moon that is circular orbit about the planet at a height of 300,000 m above the...
  4. T

    Finding centripedal acceleration with tangential acceleration

    Homework Statement I'm trying to find the centripedal acceleration of a roller coaster at a certain point in time from experimental data of acceleration in the X, Y, and Z directions. I do not know the velocity of the roller coaster, only the acceleration. Thank you! Homework Equations v^2/r...
  5. Blockade

    Can someone check if this centripetal force is correct?

    I don't know if my ΣFin is correct I am having trouble setting it up. Can you check if the new diagram and the component setup is right? Problem: Work:
  6. K

    Forces that can be considered centripetal force

    Can you help me find the kind of force that can result in a rotation?(the force that can be considered as centripetal force) I know that static friction, contact force, tension, gravity can cause rotation, what else? can you help me find as many as possible? and kinetic friction can't cause...
  7. Jairo Rodriguez

    Dropping a mass on a slope, entering a loop and stopping.

    Hello, today our teacher told us that on tomorrow's test there is going to be a problem where you drop a mass on a slope which connects into a loop. The point of the problem is to calculate exactly how tall the slope must be for the mass to complete exactly one course through the loop...
  8. J

    Centripal Force - Friction needed to keep a car tracking a curve

    Homework Statement The question is- What is the minimum coefficient of static friction that would keep the car from sliding off the curve? The Cars mass is 13500KG and it is traveling at 50.0hm/hr(13.9m/s) and the curve has a radius of 2.00 x102 m. I know the centripetal acceleration of the car...
  9. F

    The use of torque and centripedal force

    So I was thinking, I remember a physics experience where you hold and spin the wheel on a stick, if you hold the left side of the stick, the right side would stay up because of torque. Now if you assume the force of torque to be going up to counteract gravity and the other side of the torque...
  10. S

    Calculating Acceleration in a Pendulum Swing: Exploring Centripedal Forces

    I am curious, when you are swinging your arms back and forth whilst holding a glass of water as you would with a pendulum would it experience centripedal acceleration? I would assume that it would?
  11. L

    How High Must the Brass Ball Start to Complete the Loop-the-Loop?

    Hi everyone, I've been working on this problem for a while now, and I was hoping someone here could point me in the right direction. Here goes: 1. Homework Statement A solid brass ball of mass 0.280 g will roll smoothly along a loop-the-loop track when released from rest along the straight...
  12. M

    Can I Accurately Measure Bike Wheel Radius with a Rotating Sensor?

    I have attached a sensor measuring acceleration to a bicycle wheel. I was hoping to be able to trace out the circle with accurate measurements for the radius of the bike wheel by integrating my data however I have realized that my sensor is of course undergoing centripetal acceleration however...
  13. P

    Mechanical Forces: Centrifugal/Centripetal Force Effects

    i'm not really a phycisist and to be really sincere i usually cannot answear my questions in class... so yeah, a question i have for a long time now is, which force anulates the gravity preventing a rock tied on a rope spinning over my head to fall and just stay fixed in his horizontal axis, the...
  14. A

    Centripedal acceleration of an electron

    Homework Statement Multiple-Concept Example 3 provides some pertinent background for this problem. Suppose a single electron orbits about a nucleus containing two protons (2e), as would be the case for a helium atom from which one of the two naturally occurring electrons is removed. The radius...
  15. P

    Another bucket of water, centripedal force problem

    Homework Statement This is a classic problem with a slight twist on followon questions - A 1.50-kg bucket of water is tied by a rope and whirled in a circle with a radius of 1.00 m. At the top of the circular loop, the speed of the bucket is 4.00 m/s. a) Determine the acceleration, the net...
  16. L

    Centripedal acceleration and force question

    Homework Statement i can't fully understand this concept. is this correct? standing on the Earth's surface i have two forces acting on me. the force due to the fact that i have mass, and so does the earth. given by equation f = (Gm1m2)/r (this force would be acting if the Earth was not...
  17. R

    Kinematics question centripedal acceleration and projectile motion

    Homework Statement A stone is swirled in a horizontal circle 1.00m above the ground by means of a string 2.00m long. The string breaks, and the stone files off horizontally and strikes the ground 15.0m away. What was the centripetal acceleration of the stone before the string breaks...
  18. B

    Centripedal force velocity question.

    Tarzan is standing on a limb of a tree, holding onto a vine whose length is 30 m. Seeing Jane on a branch of another tree, Tarzan decides to use the vine to swing oer to Jane's branch. The vine he is holding onto makes an angle of 37 degrees with the horizontal. What will be Tarzan's velocity...
  19. D

    Magnitude of centripedal acceleration

    Homework Statement car speed from 40m/s to 84m/s traveling counterclockwise around a track 6.6x10^2m when it reaches 68m/s find: magnitude of centripedal acceleration angular speed tangential acceleration magnitude of total acceleration Homework Equations ac=v^2/r w=v/r at=...
  20. C

    Work and Energy with centripedal acceleration and springs.

    Homework Statement The two problems below are related to a cart of mass M = 500 kg going around a circular loop-the-loop of radius R = 15 m, as shown in the figures. All surfaces are frictionless. In order for the cart to negotiate the loop safely, the normal force exerted by the track on...
  21. O

    Why Is My Calculated Centripetal Acceleration So High?

    Homework Statement I am currently working a project that involves a car going around a circle. Right now, i am just simplifying it down to just the car and the circle (not including anything about the friction between the tires, or any other forces.) So it should be fairly straightfoward...
  22. R

    Solving Centripedal Motion Challenges in Physics 131

    This is not really a homework question...it's more like me begging for a link. I'm in physics 131...basic freshman college class. I can do most of the stuff ok. Think about what problem is about, draw a pciture, draw some arrows...label some forces, sum things up in perpendicular...
  23. T

    Angle of Curve for Centripetal Force w/ Radius 60m & Speed 70 km/hr

    A curve of radius 60m is banked so that a car traveling with uniform speed 70 km/hr can round the curve without relying on friction to keep it from slipping to its left or right. The acceleration of gravity is 9.8m/s^2. What is the angle of the curve? im using a=v^2/r, but when I get the...
  24. D

    Centripedal acceleration question

    Q. A BMX rider is about to ride over a large bump of radius R. What is the maximum speed the rider can travel without leaving the ground? Choice A. g/R B. gR C. (gR)^0.5 D. It depends on the mass of the rider The answer provided is C, but howcome g, gravity, is the centripedal...
  25. M

    Centripedal & Centrifugal force

    hi, what is difference between Centripedal & Centrifugal ? One is in inertial frames and the other in rotating frames? one is 'true' force and the other is fictitious force? thanks