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45
votes
8answers
6k 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 ...
41
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
39
votes
6answers
6k views

Pouring water in an aircraft while upside down?

What is the physics behind the following photo? Someone had told me that this is because the aircraft might be moving towards a lower altitude, but I am still not sure.
29
votes
4answers
6k 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.
29
votes
8answers
5k 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?
10
votes
3answers
832 views

Centrifugal force?

Everyone calls it a pseudo force and that it is not really present, even there are so many machines listed to advantage of centrifugal force ( centrifuge, washing washing drier),and also it has the ...
10
votes
1answer
6k 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?
9
votes
6answers
20k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the cause of centripetal/centrifugal force?

What is the cause of centripetal/centrifugal force? When an object of mass $m$ is moved in a circular orbit, it experiences a centrifugal force radially away from the center. What is the cause of this ...
9
votes
4answers
910 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
501 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
2answers
457 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 ...
6
votes
10answers
388 views

Why is centrifugal 'force' perpendicular to line of inertia

I know that centrifugal is labeled a fictitious force only arising in a rotating reference frame, but I still struggle to understand the forces at play intuitively in tethered rotating bodies. I've ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

MotoGP motorcycles lift front wheel while exiting curve

I've seen multiple times now in MotoGP that motorcycles were leaving a curve, and because of the acceleration the front wheel is slightly leaving the ground. But at the same time they were still ...
5
votes
3answers
641 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
1answer
222 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
4answers
8k views

How does centrifugal force work?

I know what centrifugal force is, but how does it work? Why are things forced to the outside?
4
votes
3answers
427 views

Why don't astronauts in orbit get stuck to the “ceiling”?

When a shuttle is in orbit, it is essentially rotating around the "centre" of the Earth at a great speed. So why does there seem to be no centrifugal force sticking them to the 'ceiling' of the ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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: ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Increasing mass' effect on the balance between centripetal force and centrifugal force

Okay, this is nothing more than a thought experiment which popped into my head while driving home from work today. Take the case of a single body orbiting another, larger body, as in a planet and a ...
4
votes
3answers
85 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
114 views

Speed to run a loop

So this guy was the first to run a loop and in this (german) article (and also in the video) a certain speed (13.8km/h) is mentioned. Why must he run at this speed and not just "as fast as possible"? ...
3
votes
4answers
588 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
3answers
678 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
549 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

What provides the centrifugal force for planets orbiting a star?

this is a question I had when I was a kid. I'm a bit ashamed because I think I am missing out on something very obvious since I have the same question despite almost being an engineer now! From ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Will two trains running along the equator in opposite direction experience same wear out?

Two identical trains, at the equator start travelling round the world in opposite directions. They start together, run at the same speed and are on different tracks. Which train will wear out its ...
3
votes
1answer
365 views

Can we measure the “Tilt-A-Whirl” effect of the Earth+Sun orbiting the galactic hub?

You've probably ridden on the fairground ride called the "Tilt-A-Whirl", or--as Disneyland calls it--the "Spinning Teacups", as well as other fairground rides that employ epicycles. You can really ...
3
votes
3answers
378 views

Conical vs Simple Pendulum

I don't understand why the Tension $T$ on a conical pendulum and a simple pendulum are different. In a simple pendulum, one would say that the tension of the rope is $T=mg \cos(\theta)$. However, ...
3
votes
2answers
864 views

Could a human run horizontally inside a Wall of Death?

A popular circus stunt is for a motorcycle rider to ride inside a bowl shaped depression called a "Wall of Death." The rider goes higher and higher up the wall until they are actually horizontal. I ...
3
votes
1answer
165 views

Can structural trusses in centrifuges be helpful at all?

Imagine a rotating space station for the purpose of creating artificial gravity. Generally, such a space station is portrayed as a ring or a cylinder. Images of these space stations often have lines ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

Pendulum in a Turning Airplane

My friend and I are having an argument over what happens with a pendulum hanging inside an airplane during a turn. Assuming that the airplane is making a standard 1 G coordinated turn, how does the ...
3
votes
1answer
216 views

Equation of Motion in a Non-Inertial (Rotating) Frame

Let me preface my question by informing you this is for an assignment, so I would rather not have explicit answers but rather be given guidance in arriving at the correct solution. The question is ...
3
votes
2answers
359 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
2k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
501 views

What is the relationship between the radius of a ring in a rotating space station and the strength of the artificial gravity generated?

Suppose engineers built a rotating space station similar to Space Station V from the film 2011: A Space Odyssey, but with multiple concentric rings where astronauts can live. ...
2
votes
3answers
480 views

How you feel in outer space vs. orbit?

I understand that when someone is in low earth orbit, the "pull" of their inertia is equal to the pull of gravity. However, the force of gravity is still acting on them. However, if they are in outer ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

How many Gs would a driver of the Bugatti Veyron experience on the Ehra-Lessien track when cornering before record attempt?

Apologies if too specific. Watched a documentary National Geographic Megafactories Bugatti Veyron I told an colleague (engineer) about the need to warm the car up and then unleash it on the long ...
2
votes
4answers
138 views

Why would the apple fall under the tree?

Here is an extremely naive question: Why would the apple fall under the tree? I am puzzled by this, because the conventional answer that the gravity between the apple and the earth pulling apple down ...
2
votes
2answers
203 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
126 views

Saturn's polar versus equatorial gravity

Wikipedia's reference for Saturn's gravity gives $10.44 m/s^2$ at the equator, but this conflicts with Britannica, which gives $8.96 m/s^2$ at the equator and $12.14 m/s^2$ at the poles. All values ...
2
votes
2answers
65 views

Having trouble understanding how the centrifugal force works

I thought that I understood the centrifugal force earlier, but I can't seem to grasp how it interacts when considering that everything is relative? Let's imagine that you are the only one in the ...
2
votes
0answers
68 views

Lack of scale in Schrödinger equation for square-inverse potential

I see that if we set our potential in schrodinger equation to be a inverse-square dependence we don't have a typical unit of length as we have for hydrogen atom. $$-{\hbar^2\over 2m}\nabla^2\psi + ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Turning an airplane - coordinated turn and inclinometer (“the ball”)

I'm flying, turning in a stable orbit, i.e. at constant level with a constant angle of bank, at constant airspeed, with a constant radius of turn, as in the picture here (sorry it's my first post, ...
2
votes
0answers
71 views

Rotation in an 'empty' universe [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is rotational motion relative to space? Assume a universe with the same physics as ours, but containing only one rotating (charge-free) body - let's say the size of the ...
1
vote
2answers
520 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
338 views

How fast must a torus spin to have a felt gravity? [on hold]

Given a rotating torus (like a gyroscope or a rotary) with a radius of 1km, how fast must it rotate to have someone inside the torus feel normal gravity of 1G?
1
vote
2answers
155 views

Why are turns banked?

I have seen everywhere that where on road, on railway track when there is a turn then one side of that road or railway track is below the surface or some what down then actual surface. Any one ...
1
vote
2answers
378 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 ...