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Homework Help: Circular motion in a cone

  1. Jan 11, 2017 #1
    I am a little confused by the following problem: Mass in cone: A particle of mass m slides without friction on the inside of a cone. The axis of the cone is vertical, and gravity is directed downward. The apex half-angle of the cone is θ, as shown. The path of the particle happens to be a circle in a horizontal plane. The speed of the particle is v0. Draw a force diagram and find the radius of the circular path in terms of v0, g, and θ. I have arrived at the following solution which I assume is correct r = v^2 * tan (θ) / g. I arrive at my solution by using the equation: N(normal force)* sin(θ)=mg (since there is no vertical accelaration). But this means that the normal force is larger than mg. This intuitively seems strange to me, isn't it mg that creates the normal force in the first place? I am probably missing some very basic detail....
  2. jcsd
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