1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Centripetal acceleration and angles

  1. May 3, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A block is hung by a string from the inside roof of a van. When the van goes straight ahead at a speed of 34 m/s, the block hangs vertically down. But when the van maintains this same speed around an unbanked curve (radius = 120 m), the block swings toward the outside of the curve. Then the string makes an angle theta with the vertical. Find theta.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    All I could do was get the centripetal force, 34^2/120=9.63333N.

    I have no idea where to go from here, and there are no similar problems I can find.

    Thanks a million for any help.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 4, 2007 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    The formula that you give is for the acceleration. So you calculated the centripetal acceleration.

    The block will experience two forces - its weight, W, and the tension T in the string. The vertical component of the tension balances the weight of the block while the horizontal component supplies the necessary centripetal force.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook