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Homework Help: Centripetal or centrifugal?

  1. Sep 26, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    13. Why does the water in a washing machine escape through the little holes during the spin cycle?
    a The water is flung out of the clothes by the centripetal force.
    b The water is flung out of the washer by the centrifugal force.
    c The water is sucked out of the little holes by the washer.
    d The washer cannot force the water into a circle because of the holes.

    2. Relevant equations

    I believe it's either a or b.

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I can't narrow it down between the tow. Help is very appreciated!
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 26, 2013 #2
    nvm I got it!
  4. Sep 26, 2013 #3

    rude man

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    BTW don't let anyone tell you that the term 'centrifugal force' is wrong. Richard Feynman used it in his (recently posted) lecture series, and he kind of knew his physics. :smile:
  5. Sep 26, 2013 #4


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    Shouldn't the answer be "d"? If the outer tub is draining, then the holes on the inner tub above the outer tub water line can't produce a centripetal force on the water, and the water's momentum causes it to flow through the holes into the outer tub.
  6. Sep 26, 2013 #5

    rude man

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    That's my vote too, for what it's worth.
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