Exploring Centripetal Force: Does Radius Influence It?

• mani88
In summary, centripetal force is the force that causes an object to move in a circular path and is necessary to maintain this motion. It works by exerting a force towards the center of the circle and is influenced by the radius of the circular path. The formula for calculating centripetal force is Fc = mv²/r, which shows that it is directly proportional to the mass and velocity of the object and inversely proportional to the radius. Changing the mass or velocity of an object will directly affect the centripetal force.
mani88
Homework Statement
I'm investigating the effect of radius on centripetal force using a conical pendulum. If the length of the string and the mass is kept constant and I increase the orbital radius (assuming force is also kept constant) would the period of the conical pendulum increase or decrease???
Relevant Equations
F=mv^2/r or
F=m4pi^2r/T^2
Well i think centripetal force is inversely proportional to the radius, so I'm guessing it would decrease but not sure to be honest.

mani88 said:
think centripetal force is inversely proportional to the radius
In general, that depends what is held constant, linear speed or angular speed.
Which of those applies in this context? Or maybe something else?

Draw a free body diagram of the forces on the bob and write the corresponding equations.

1. What is centripetal force?

Centripetal force is a force that acts on an object moving in a circular path, directed towards the center of the circle. It is responsible for keeping the object in its circular motion.

2. How does centripetal force work?

Centripetal force works by constantly changing the direction of an object's velocity, causing it to move in a circular path. This force is provided by an external force, such as tension in a string or gravitational force.

3. Does radius influence centripetal force?

Yes, the radius of the circular path does influence centripetal force. As the radius increases, the centripetal force required to keep the object in its circular motion also increases. This is because a larger radius means the object has to travel a greater distance in the same amount of time, requiring a larger force to maintain its speed.

4. How does the mass of an object affect the centripetal force?

The mass of an object does not directly affect the centripetal force. However, a larger mass will require a larger centripetal force to keep it in its circular motion at a certain speed, as described by Newton's second law of motion (F=ma). This means that a heavier object will require a stronger force to keep it moving in a circular path.

5. Can centripetal force be greater than the force of gravity?

Yes, in some cases, the centripetal force can be greater than the force of gravity. This is often seen in amusement park rides, such as roller coasters, where the force of gravity is not enough to keep the riders in their seats during sharp turns or loops. In these cases, additional centripetal force is provided to keep the riders safely in their seats.

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