# Tagged Questions

any force responsible for maintaining an object on a curved path around a fixed center. In introductory coursework this is usually "uniform circular motion" and yields several simple and useful relations. Not to be confused with the centrifugal pseudo-force experienced in a accelerated referenced ...

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### 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 ...
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### Why would a spinning space station create a centrifugal force on an astronaut rather than simply spinning around him/her?

We often see films with spinning space station that create artificial gravity by having the astronauts pulled outwards by centrifugal force. I'd like to know if this would really happen, and if so, ...
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### 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.
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### Why doesn't a spinning object in the air fall?

Let's say I have a ball attached to a string and I'm spinning it above my head. If it's going fast enough, it doesn't fall. I know there's centripetal acceleration that's causing the ball to stay in a ...
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### 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, ...
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### Is gravity a force and if so what is its opposite?

For every force there is an equal force in the opposite direction on another body, correct? So when the Suns gravity acts on Earth where is the opposite and equal force? I also have the same ...
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### 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: ...
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### Relativistic centripetal force

The thought randomly occurred to me that a circular particle accelerator would have to exert a lot of force in order to maintain the curvature of the trajectory. Many accelerators move particles at ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### Can an orbit be calculated using two points and transit time?

Working in only two dimensions and assuming that the central body is at the origin of the coordinate system, given two points in space and knowing the transit time between those points, as well as the ...
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### Is there a huge difference between centrifugal and centripetal forces?

I am doing a video for 8th grade on the subject. I'm showing the experiment of swinging a bucket of water over your head. Is there a huge difference between centrifugal and centripetal forces? Would ...
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### Will the sea form a concave surface?

Without neglecting the fact that the earth is rotating, let us be in a ship (such that there is no relative motion between sea and ship) in a sea that surrounds the northern most or southern most ...
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### 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 ...
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### Turning an Airplane. What actually causes the circular motion in a banked (roll) turn?

Basically I'm wondering if this is correct. Which essentially says that you need a torque to get the nose of the craft to turn and that this is provided by the rear tail surfaces. After trying to ...
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### 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 ...
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### How to solve this problem without using energy conservation

I believe most of you probably solved the following problem using energy conservation as shown here. It states a block of mass $m$ sliding on a sphere of radius $R$. I've be trying to solve this ...
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### Effect of water on wobble of rotating structure

If we have a structure that rotates to create artificial gravity, then if the mass isn't perfectly distributed along the circumference the CM will be offset from the geometric center so there will be ...
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### Is there an equivalent of Rindler coordinates for an object in centripetal motion?

Rindler coordinates are a parametrization of (a subset of) Minkowski space that are "natural" for an object experiencing constant acceleration - more specifically, an object experiencing constant ...
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### Meaning of the Value of Centripetal Acceleration

In the traditional sense, acceleration means the rate at which velocity is changing. Visually, we tend to associate this with the magnitude of velocity. If the centripetal acceleration of the moon ...
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### Is the planet Mesklin as described in Hal Clement's Mission of Gravity correct?

The book Mission of Gravity describes a planet with a mass of 16 times Jupiter spinning at a rate of one revolution every 17.75 minutes. This causes it to stretch out into an oblate spheroid and has ...
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### 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,...
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### Is any energy required to deflect an asteroid, with force always perpendicular to its trajectory?

Let's assume there is an asteroid traveling on a straight line (far from any gravitational source), and we need to deflect it from its actual trajectory, so we build a rocket motor on the surface and ...
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### The force arrow for centripetal force points in the opposite direction of my calculation?

I need someone to clarify a conceptual problem I can't seem to surpass. Image there is a rollercoaster loop and a rollerbcoaster car enters the loop at high speed. Once the car completes the full ...
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### 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 ...
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### Intuitive explanation for why centripetal acceleration is $\frac{v^2}{r}$

There are several ways to write centripetal acceleration $$\frac{v^2}{r} = \omega^2 r = v \omega$$ Are there intuitive explanations for any of these three forms? For instance, I can sort of explain ...
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### Friction as a Centripetal Force

When an object is moving in a circle, won't the frictional force oppose it's motion? And if the velocity is always tangential to the path, there is no component of it towards the center, so there is ...
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### Why does friction play the role of centripetal force during the turning of a car?

What makes frictional force the centripetal force of a car turning along a curve? As friction is the opposing force and acts anti-parallel so there is no component of frictional force towards the ...
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### 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 ...
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### Is the Moon freely falling towards the Earth?

The Moon is revolving around the Earth and its centripetal acceleration is towards the Earth. Does it mean that the Moon is freely falling towards Earth? What is the cause of the Moon orbiting around ...
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### Is it possible to tell which way a Universe is spinning?

Imagine a Universe spinning on the x-axis. So there is a centripetal directed away from the x-axis. According to General Relativity this is entirely equivalent to a non-spinning Universe with a ...
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### Friction in circular motion [closed]

A circular horizontal table spins around its axis of rotation with a constant angular speed. It completes one revolution in 2 seconds. An object whose mass is $M = 0.8 \ \text{kg}$ is placed on the ...
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### What causes a car's velocity to follow the front wheels' direction?

I'm trying to simulate a car with correct physics models. In this example we let the car have a constant speed, and there are no forces (friction and drag) to slow down the speed. Here's a video that ...
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### Proof of centripetal acceleration formula ($a_c = v^2/r$) for non-uniform circular motion

The formula for centripetal (radial) acceleration is well known, and there exist many proofs for it: $$||a_c|| = \frac{||v||^2}{r}$$ However, all the proofs I've seen rely on the fact that it is ...
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### A question on uniform circular motion and minimum tangential velocity

I've had a bit of a crisis in my understanding of circular motion and I'm hoping to clear it up here. Would it be correct to say that the condition for a particle to be in uniform circular motion is ...
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### Shape of a rotating fluid surface

I was going through fluid dynamics and I came upon this section on the shape of a liquid surface in a rotating cylindrical vessel. The working in the book is something like this: It considers a mass ...
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### When does centripetal force cause constant circular motion?

As far as I know, if an object has a speed $s$ and a force is applied to it which generates an acceleration of $s^2/r$, then the object will start moving in a circle of radius $r$. Also, as far as I ...
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### 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 ...
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### Planet orbits: what's the difference between gravity and centripetal force?

My physics teacher says that centripetal force is caused by gravity. I'm not entirely sure how this works? How can force cause another in space (ie where there's nothing). My astronomy teacher says ...
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### Physical Variables of Circular Motion

To me, the definitions of variables involved in circular motion are rather confusing (perhaps due to the lack of understanding on my part), hence the question. As I understand it, there are two ...
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### 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 ...
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