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Centripetal Force

  1. Jul 30, 2006 #1
    If you had a piece of matter which was loosly held together by gravitational interaction spinning on an axis and the centripetal force being produced was larger than the gravitational force holding the matter together would the matter that has become separate due to the centrapetal force still be spinning or would it be ejected with no spin? Also if another piece of matter was ejected after the original piece would it have a larger or smaller velocity than that of the original ejected piece?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2006 #2

    Chi Meson

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    Centripetal force is NOT "produced." Centripetal force is "required" in order for an object to undergo circular motion. In this case the gravitational force would be the centripetal force. In other words, there are not two forces, just one, gravity, which in this case will be "centripetal" (which is a directional indicator, meaning "pointing to center").

    So, in the case that the spin is so much that the gravitational force is not enough to provide the necessary centripetal force, the parts that make up the object will travel further apart.

    As the parts travel away from each other they will still conserve angular momentum, and will continue rotating themselves. Since it is the net (total) angular momentum that is conserved, and since the parts will have some dynamic interaction amonst themselves (for a while at least) it would be a very difficult calcualtion to predict how much spin each part will have.
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