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Homework Help: Centripetal Force = Net Force?

  1. Jan 12, 2009 #1
    I'm doing a lab, and I need to determine the centripetal force of a ball tethered to a string, rotating around at a constant acceleration horizontally. In this instance, is the only force in the problem the centripetal force, in which case would also be the net force, or is there also a normal force pushing in the opposite direction from the center? Assume this is done in space and gravity does not play any role, etc.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 12, 2009 #2


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    Yes, centripetal force is the only force if you are in space with no gravity.

    If it is the lab I remember where you measure the tension in the string to deduce the centripetal force formula, gravity does play an important role. Fg causes the ball to angle downward from horizontal and you work with both horizontal and vertical forces to figure it all out.
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