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Centripetal force apparatus lab

  1. Oct 21, 2014 #1
    Actually, I am gonna do a centripetal force apparatus lab tmr morning.
    Here I get some pre-lab questions.

    In this lab, we are gonna use economy force sensor (as I know there are 2 types, but it doesn't matter).
    There is one question related to this sensor...
    It says "The 'Tare' button on the economy force sensor is to set the force to be zero. How to verify the result? Hint: Observe the curve."

    First question, what result? That the force is really zero? Is the voltage of the electric motor 0V indicating that the force is 0N?

    Second question, what curve? I don't get the relation of it with voltage. Or is it not related to the voltage?

    Besides, in the experiment of Centripetal force vs Mass, there is a question asking whether the velocity is a constant or not. It seems an easy question and I should know...
    But somehow I forget it. Is the velocity increasing with the radius and thus keeping v2/r a constant? Or both v and r are constants so that v2/r is already a constant?

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 21, 2014 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    On the force sensors that I've used, the button simply sets the display to read zero, for whatever value the actual force is at that moment. You normally use it by first ensuring that there is no force being applied to the sensor (e.g. by letting a string tied to it go slack), then pressing the button.

    As time passes, this "zero setting" tends to drift so that when no force is applied, the sensor reads a small nonzero value. Therefore I always make sure to reset the zero frequently during the course of the experiment.
  4. Oct 21, 2014 #3
    But do you know what the question wants me to answer?
  5. Oct 21, 2014 #4
    for the velocity one, i think i get it.
    Since v = 2πr / t
    so if r is unchanged, v will not be changed. i.e. kept constant
  6. Oct 21, 2014 #5
    or simply to say
    as centripetal force vs mass, v2/r is constant
    as r is unchanged, v should be unchanged to keep v2/r constant

    but i still don't get the 'tare' button question
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