Exploration 5.2: Force an Object Around a Circle
Please wait for the animation to completely load.
In this Exploration you are looking down at a black ball on a table top. Drag the crosshair cursor (position is given in meters and time is given in seconds) to within 5 m of the 0.2-kg ball. The cursor will then exert a constant force on the black ball. You may choose either an attractive or a repulsive force. In addition, the black ball is constrained to move in a circle by a very long wire. The blue arrow represents the net force acting on the mass, while the bar graph displays its speed in meters/second. Restart.
For both attraction and repulsion, drag the cursor around to see how the net force varies.
- At the beginning of the animation (before you move the cursor), in what direction does the net force point?
- With this force, does the ball move?
- What type of applied force makes the ball acquire a tangential velocity?
- Describe the direction of the force that makes the ball acquire the maximum tangential velocity for the force applied.
- When the ball has a tangential velocity, in which direction does the net force point when the cursor is nearby? In what direction does the acceleration point?
- With the object moving, drag the cursor far away from the ball. In what direction is the net force now? What is the direction of the acceleration? Why?