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Homework Help: Centripetal Acceleration

  1. Oct 24, 2007 #1
    I'm doing problems modeling particles in uniform circular motion and one is about a car going over a speed bump. I figured out the problem, but then it asks "What is the max speed the car can have as it passes this highest point without losing contact with the road?" I'm not sure what this part of the question is asking. Can anyone rephrase it for me or lead me in the right direction? I don't think it's a friction thing since it's not sliding, would this be over coming the maximum radial force?
    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 24, 2007 #2

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    In order to maintain contact with the road as the car goes over the bump there must be enough force to provide the needed centripetal acceleration. The faster you go, the greater the centripetal acceleration and thus the greater force required. What forces act on the car as it goes over the bump? What's the maximum net downward force on the car?
  4. Oct 24, 2007 #3
    Ah, well the only downward force is gravity, so I just need to find the max velocity while mg is greater than the centripetal accel. I think I can figure that out then. Thanks
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