1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Circular motion involving friction and tension

  1. Dec 3, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    There is a block on a turntable. It is attached to the center of the table by a string with the length .4m. Also the static friction constant between the table and the block is 0.8 .
    If the maximum tension the string can support is 300n how fast can the table spin without the string snapping?


    2. Relevant equations
    mass (velocity)^2 / radius = Centripetal Force
    mass x 9.8 [gravity] x U [friction constant] = Force of Friction

    3. The attempt at a solution

    mv^2/.4 = 300 + .8mg

    V = sqr(120/m +3.136)

    Where do I go from here? Can I find a quantitative value for velocity if the mass of the block is not given?

    Thanks! I would appreciate it if I can get an answer tonight. My impression is that this is due tomorrow.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 3, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    The block is accelerating towards the center of the turntable. So the frictional force on the turntable is away from the center. Reaction to this frictional force on the block is towards the center.
    Now rewrite the equation.
  4. Dec 3, 2009 #3
    rl, i'm not sure I follow. I understand that the block is accelerating towards the center. Aren't i only concerned with the friction force on the block, which is towards the center (this is part of the forces necessary for allowing the block not to move to a farther orbit).

    What I don't understand is why my equation mv^2/r = Ftension + Ffriction towards the center is incorrect. Further I don't know how to solve this without a given mass. Perhaps my teacher had forgotten to give the mass.
  5. Dec 3, 2009 #4


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    You are right. Mass must be given to solve the problem.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook