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The students should understand that bodies moving along a circular trajectory at a constant speed experience an acceleration that is directed radially towards the centre of the circle—known as a centripetal acceleration as given by a = v2/r = w2r=4π2r/T2


Here are experiments our science specialists have selected to support this IB* topic.

Centripetal Accelerations on a Turntable

Experiment #20 from Physics with Vernier

  • Measure centripetal acceleration on a record turntable.
  • Determine the relationship between centripetal acceleration, radius, and angular velocity.
  • Determine the direction of centripetal acceleration.

Circular Motion

Experiment #8 from Physics Explorations and Projects

  • Design and perform an investigation.
  • Draw a conclusion from evidence.
  • Understand that the centripetal force acting on (or the centripetal acceleration of) an object moving in a circular pattern is governed by one of two relationships

Educational Standard
International Baccalaureate (IB) 2025
A Space, time and motion
A.2 Forces and momentum
Standard level and higher level

* The IB Diploma Program is an official program of the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) which authorizes schools to offer it. The material available here has been developed independently of the IBO and is not endorsed by it.