- Homework Statement:
I know that when an object moves around a loop, there is a normal force and the force of gravity acting on the object. I am also aware that the normal force is what causes the centripetal acceleration and that at the top of the loop, both the force of gravity and normal force point downward.
My question, then, is what causes this normal force at the very top of a loop if the object is moving faster than the minimum speed required to clear the loop? From what I've learned so far, normal force usually acts as a response to some other force (it's a type of supportive force). What exactly is the normal force at the top of the loop supporting? Is there some other way of thinking about normal force that explains why it appears in this situation?
- Relevant Equations:
- centripetal force = m * centripetal acceleration --> Fc = m * (v^2)/r
From the equation for centripetal force, I can see that the centripetal force is proportional to v^2. Does this have something to do with why there is a normal force at the top? Does the velocity of the object require there to be a normal force? If so, why is that the case?