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Nonuniform circular motion problem

  1. Oct 25, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    0.5kg ball swings in a vertical circle at the end of a 1.5m long string. When the ball is at the bottom of the circle the tension in the string is 15 N. What is the speed of the ball at that point?

    2. Relevant equations
    ac=T/m
    ac=v^2/r

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Using the equations above, I solved for centripetal acceleration by taking the Tension (which =15N) and dividing it by the mass (0.5kg). This gave me 30 m/s^2. I next took the other equation stated above, plugged in all the numbers and solved for v, which = 6.71m/s. The answer in the back of the book was around 5.5m/s, I think. Anyway, I got the problem wrong and I can't see what I did wrong.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, I'm doing this in preparation for a test and really need to understand these problems. :smile:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 25, 2012 #2

    haruspex

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    you're forgetting gravity.
     
  4. Oct 25, 2012 #3
    Gravity would affect tension, right? If they say the tension is 15N at the bottom, aren't they including gravity?
     
  5. Oct 28, 2012 #4

    haruspex

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    Yes, they are but you aren't. Draw the free body diagram. What are the forces and what is the resultant (to drive the required acceleration)?
     
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