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49
votes
7answers
5k views

Why is the Earth so fat?

I made a naive calculation of the height of Earth's equatorial bulge and found that it should be about 10km. The true height is about 20km. My question is: why is there this discrepancy? The ...
42
votes
8answers
12k views

Why doesn't a bike/bicycle fall if going with a high speed?

Why does a bike/bicycle fall when its speed is very low or close to zero and is balanced when going with a high speed?
3
votes
4answers
15k views

How does centrifugal force work?

I know what centrifugal force is, but how does it work? Why are things forced to the outside?
6
votes
2answers
788 views

Why don't we consider centrifugal force on a mass placed on earth?

Let us say a block of mass is placed on the surface of earth. Then while drawing the forces on that body, we say: Force $F = mg$ acting towards the center of Earth. Normal reaction $N$ offered by ...
6
votes
4answers
31k views

Why is Earth's gravity stronger at the poles?

Many sources state that the Earth's gravity is stronger at the poles than the equator for two reasons: The centrifugal "force" cancels out the gravity minimally, more so at the equator than at the ...
58
votes
8answers
26k views

Does centrifugal force exist?

Currently in my last year of high school, and I have always been told that centrifugal force does not exist by my physics teachers. Today my girlfriend in the year below asked me what centrifugal ...
13
votes
1answer
14k views

Derivation of the centrifugal and coriolis force

I was wondering how easily these two pseudo-forces can be derived mathematically in order to exhibit a clear physical meaning. How would you proceed?
17
votes
5answers
3k views

Is the centrifugal force a real force?

Everyone calls the centrifugal force a pseudo force and claims that it is not really present, even though there are so many machines listed as taking advantage of it (e.g. centrifuge, washing machine, ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Will a machine or a technique ever be possible that allows artificial gravity in interplanetary space?

Will a machine or a technique ever be possible that allows artificial gravity in interplanetary space? And I ask out of pure curiosity. I know there is the "Vomit Comet" that allows for a non-gravity ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Centrifugal Force and Polar Coordinates

In Classical Mechanics, both Goldstein and Taylor (authors of different books with the same title) talk about the centrifugal force term when solving the Euler-Lagrange equation for the two body ...
32
votes
4answers
11k views

Why can't we feel the Earth turning?

The Earth turns with a very high velocity, around its own axis and around the Sun. So why can't we feel that it's turning, but we can still feel earthquake.
5
votes
2answers
2k views

“Artificial gravity” on a rotating space stations

There have been a lot of sci-fi shows recently using the "rotating space station" explanation for gravity on space stations. After watching these videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49JwbrXcPjc&...
5
votes
3answers
10k views

Does Earth's Rotation Affect Its Shape?

The question I am working on is, "Consider the following. (a) Find the angular speed of Earth's rotation about its axis. rad/s (b) How does this rotation affect the shape of Earth?" I am ...
5
votes
7answers
2k views

Do centripetal and reactive centrifugal forces cancel each other out?

In order for a body to move with uniform velocity in a circular path, there must exist some force towards the centre of curvature of the circular path. This is centripetal force. By Newton's Third Law,...
3
votes
3answers
16k views

Rotating a stone with a string

Suppose we are given a stick and a stone tied to the stick by a string. Now if we rotate the stone around the stick the stone rises in height (see picture below). My question is which force accounts ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

If the earth would stop spinning, what would happen?

What would happen if the earth would stop spinning? How much heavier would we be? I mean absolutely stop spinning. How much does the centrifugal force affect us? If you give technical answers (please ...
1
vote
3answers
514 views

Will an object resting on a rotating platform move in a frictionless world?

Imagine that a pebble is placed on a uniformly rotating, frictionless disk. What will happen to this pebble? Will the disk slide under it and the pebble stay as is? Or will there be a centrifugal ...
10
votes
1answer
4k views

Fluid in a rotating cylinder

I have been wondering why a fluid in a rotating container has a parabola shape? Is it possible to prove this mathematically?
7
votes
2answers
917 views

Confusion with derivation of fictitious forces

I read the mathematical derivation of fictitious forces on Wikipedia and I'm having trouble understanding it. I went on a few other sites looking for a better derivation, but they're all basically the ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Shape of rotating rope (lasso problem?)

Let's take a wire or a rope. I usually do this with a chain or my scarf. I fixate one end in my hand and apply rotation (by subtle movements of this endpoint like spinning a lasso). The rope gets ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Fictitious forces confusion

I have a hard time understanding the subject of fictitious forces. Let's discuss a few examples: 1) I'm sitting inside a vehicle which is accelerating in a straight line. I feel like someone is ...
4
votes
4answers
485 views

What is an intuitive explanation using forces for the equatorial bulge?

The earth is not a sphere, because it bulges at the equator. I tried fiddling with centripetal force equations and gravity, but I couldn't derive why this bulge occurs. Is there (a) a ...
2
votes
3answers
491 views

Why is centrifugal force considered fictitious, when it's the one that feels real to us when we are moving in a circle?

Why is centrifugal force considered fictitious, when it's the one that feels real to us when we are moving in a circle? I understand the explanation regarding the reference frames: if our body is the ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Intuitive understanding of centripetal vs. centrifugal force

I am having trouble understanding how centripetal force works intuitively. This is my claim. When I have a mass strapped on a string and spin it around, I feel the mass pulling my hand. So, I want ...
0
votes
1answer
231 views

Vertical Loop like Anti-gravity

Let's take a bottle (no cap) with half its volume filled with water. If we rotate the bottle at some slower average velocity, water does not drop out of it. The same principle works on Roller Coasters....
19
votes
7answers
50k views

Gravity on the International Space Station

We created a table in my physics class which contained the strength of gravity on different planet and objects in space. At altitude 0(earth), the gravitational strength is 100%. On the moon at ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Weightlessness in Satellites

The following is written in my textbook as the reason for weightlessness felt in satellites: The gravitational pull is counterbalanced by the centripetal force. This introduces two problems: ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Why are people weightless whilst in orbit around the Earth? ISS? Satellites? [duplicate]

Had physics for 2 years now on highschool, but there is a thing I am wondering about. You know the in the height above the earth surface around where the satellites are (Or the ISS), I've calculated ...
3
votes
2answers
388 views

Centripetal force in frame of reference of body moving In a circle

Suppose a body is moving in a circle about a fixed point. In the frame of reference of the body, is the centripetal force felt or is only the centrifugal force felt? More generally, does a body only ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

How the apparent weight varies due to the rotational motion of Earth?

I learned that as the earth rotates about its axis, the bodies on the earth also follow a circular path. In most books I read, they give the example of a person standing on a weight balance at the ...
2
votes
4answers
291 views

Centripetal and centrifugal force

If a stone is rotated with the help of a rope, then both centripetal force and centrifugal force will be liberated. The magnitude of that forces are same, but direction of them are opposite to each ...
1
vote
4answers
3k views

Why doesn't the Gravitational Force causes body to fall towards orbital center moving with constant tangential speed? [duplicate]

Suppose a satellite is orbiting the Earth. The gravitational and centripetal force supposedly point towards the Earth. Therefore, the net force is towards the Earth. Since the satellite doesn't fall ...
1
vote
2answers
544 views

Centrifugal force in the Hydrogen atom for $L=0$

I have found the following interesting article: http://arxiv.org/abs/0706.0924 The authors examine the radial momentum operator in detail, in particular its time evolution due to the forces acting ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Centrifugal Force

When a body is in circular motion, realistically, it experiences only the centripetal force, created by gravitational pull, tension etc. , which gives it acceleration towards the centre. Now, assuming ...
5
votes
1answer
281 views

Imaginary angle on simple centrifugal problem

Say somebody is spinning a mass on a string with a period $T$ around. If $T$ is very big, the mass will describe a small circle around the person's waist. If $T$ is very small, the plane of movement ...
4
votes
2answers
516 views

Mixing a cup of tea and break of centrifugal force [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Vortex in liquid collects particles in center Why when you mix a cup of tea with a teaspoon, tea-craps collect in the center of cup, instead of goes near the walls?
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Why did they add a Centripetal Force in the Free-Body Diagram?

problem ! solution ! Why do they have the centripetal force in there? I understand that the normal force is the centripetal force here, but why would they say "or $\frac{mv^2}{r}$"? I thought it ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

Meaning of centrifugal term in the mechanical energy of a orbiting planet [duplicate]

For a planet under the effect of gravitational force the mechanical energy can be written as $$E=\frac{1}{2}\mu {\dot{r}}^2+\frac{L^2}{2\mu r^2}-\gamma \frac{m M}{r^2} \tag{1}$$ Where $\mu$ is the ...
1
vote
2answers
78 views

Centrifuge speed of an object higher than a stationary orbit

In the question At what altitude above equator do gravitational and centrifugal forces cancel each other?, I asked how high a tower on the equator has to be such that at its top, gravitational and ...
0
votes
1answer
754 views

Condition for circular orbit

I am a little confused about the condition for circular orbit. Goldstein's Classical Mechanics has the condition for circular orbit as $$f'=0\tag1$$ where $f'$ is the effective force. I understand ...
0
votes
2answers
133 views

At what altitude above equator do gravitational and centrifugal forces cancel each other? [closed]

How high has to be a tower at equator to get on its peak the same - but of course inverted sing - value of gravitational and centrifugal forces?
0
votes
1answer
345 views

Calculating the first cosmic velocity / velocity for a circular orbit

Today in class we calculated first cosmic velocity using this equation $$G\frac{mM}{(R+h)^2}=\frac{mV^2}{R+h},$$ where $m$ = mass of the body, $M$ = mass of the Earth, $R$ = radius of the Earth, $h$ = ...
0
votes
1answer
579 views

Centrifugal force acting on ring [closed]

Take for example the case of a rod rotating about an axis passing through its centre of mass and perpendicular to it. It has a ring hung from one of its sides. The rotation of the rod causes the ring ...