# Magnetic field - affect on steel ball

• jsmith613
In summary, the smaller ball follows a path with a smaller radius and curve due to its lower kinetic energy and the smaller centripetal force it requires.
jsmith613

## Homework Statement

(see attachment for image)

A steel ball is released from a ramp and enters at the position marked.
Draw and explain the paths taken by both balls
(explain the difference between the paths)

## The Attempt at a Solution

So the smaller ball follows a path with a smaller radius than the larger curve
the larger ball is moving faster BUT how does this explain why the curve is greater (mv2/r is the force needed for the steel ball to move in a circle BUT there surely are not any extra forces supplying the required centripetal acceleration). I would have presumed that frictional forces don't really change as the steel ball is smooth?

#### Attachments

• magnet.png
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Firstly, we need to understand that both balls have the same initial velocity and are released from the same height. This means that they both have the same potential energy and kinetic energy at the start of their motion.

Now, when the balls are released, they both experience the same gravitational force pulling them downwards. This force causes them to accelerate and gain speed as they move down the ramp. However, as they reach the curved part of the ramp, they experience a new force - the centripetal force. This force is directed towards the center of the circular path and is responsible for keeping the balls moving in a circular motion.

The magnitude of the centripetal force is given by the equation F = mv^2/r, where m is the mass of the ball, v is its velocity and r is the radius of the circular path. As you correctly stated, the smaller ball has a smaller radius, which means that it requires a smaller centripetal force to keep it moving in a circular path. This is why the smaller ball follows a path with a smaller radius than the larger ball.

Now, let's look at the difference in the paths taken by the two balls. Since the smaller ball requires a smaller centripetal force, it can maintain its circular path with a lower speed than the larger ball. This means that the smaller ball has a lower kinetic energy compared to the larger ball. As a result, the smaller ball will not be able to climb as high on the curved part of the ramp as the larger ball. This is why the smaller ball follows a path with a smaller curve - it does not have enough energy to climb as high as the larger ball.

In conclusion, the difference in the paths taken by the two balls can be explained by the difference in their kinetic energies, which is a result of the difference in the centripetal forces required to keep them moving in a circular path.

## What is a magnetic field?

A magnetic field is an invisible force created by the movement of electric charges, such as electrons, in a magnetic material. It is represented by lines of force that extend from one end of a magnet to the other.

## How does a magnetic field affect a steel ball?

A magnetic field can cause a steel ball to either attract or repel, depending on the orientation of the ball's magnetic domains (tiny magnets that make up the material). If the ball is placed in a strong magnetic field, it will align its domains with the field and either be pulled towards or pushed away from the magnet.

## What factors determine the strength of a magnetic field?

The strength of a magnetic field is determined by the distance from the source of the field and the strength of the source. The closer the steel ball is to the magnet and the stronger the magnet is, the greater the force of the magnetic field on the ball will be.

## Can a magnetic field be shielded or blocked?

Yes, a magnetic field can be shielded or blocked by certain materials, such as iron or steel. These materials have their own magnetic domains that can align with the external field, creating an opposite field that cancels out the effects of the original field. This is known as magnetic shielding.

## How is the strength of a magnetic field measured?

The strength of a magnetic field is measured in units of tesla (T) or gauss (G). One tesla is equal to 10,000 gauss. The strength of a magnetic field can be measured using a device called a gaussmeter or a magnetometer.

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