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Twirling a mass on a string

  1. Jul 12, 2008 #1
    Hello! I'm very new to these forums so please pardon my ignorance.

    When you twirl a mass on a string horizontally (I.E. you hold a string with a mass on the end of it and spin around) , what is the force keeping the mass from falling due to gravity? I'm a little curious and I can't seem to understand this. I'd appreciate any insight. Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 12, 2008 #2
  4. Jul 12, 2008 #3
    I thought the tension acted perp. to the object's weight?
  5. Jul 12, 2008 #4


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    Science Advisor

    The vertical component of tension.

  6. Jul 12, 2008 #5
    Ah alright thank you! :)
  7. Jul 13, 2008 #6
    The mass will never be travelling in a completely horizontal path, there will be a finite vertical component as mentioned above to oppose the force from gravity
  8. Jul 14, 2008 #7

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    I think you meant to say that the string will never be completely horizontal--thus there will always be a vertical component of tension to balance the weight. (The mass can certainly travel in a perfectly horizontal path.)
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