Exploration 5.1: Circular Motion

m = grams | v = m/s | r = m

check, then click set 'n run to see "ghost" images set at equal time intervals to mark the path of the ball.

Please wait for the animation to completely load.

A puck travels in a circular path on a frictionless table, propelled by a string pulling from the center of the circle (position is shown in meters and time is shown in seconds). You may adjust the mass (10 g < m < 500 g), the speed (1 m/s < v < 50 m/s), and/or the radius (0.5 m < r < 3.5 m). The tension is displayed on the screen. Restart.

How does the tension in the string depend upon the mass, the speed of the block, and the radius of the circle?

  1. If you only vary the mass, how does the tension change?
  2. If you only vary the velocity, how does the tension change?
  3. If you only vary the radius, how does the tension change?

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Physlets were developed at Davidson College and converted from Java to JavaScript using the SwingJS system developed at St. Olaf College.

OSP Projects:
Open Source Physics - EJS Modeling
Physlet Physics
Physlet Quantum Physics
STP Book