Vernier Software & Technology

Centripetal Acceleration

Introduction

The typical response when one hears the word acceleration is to think of an object changing its speed. You have also learned that velocity has both magnitude and direction. So, an object traveling at constant speed in a circular path is undergoing an acceleration. In this experiment you will develop an expression for this type of acceleration.

Objectives

In this experiment, you will

• Analyze velocity vectors of an object undergoing uniform circular motion to determine the direction of the acceleration vector at any given moment.
• Collect force, velocity, and radius data for a mass undergoing uniform circular motion.
• Analyze the force vs. velocity, force vs. mass, and force vs. radius graphs.
• Determine the relationship between force, mass, velocity, and radius for an object undergoing uniform circular motion.
• Use this relationship and Newton’s second law to determine an expression for centripetal acceleration.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Advanced Physics with Vernier — Mechanics

See other experiments from the lab book.

 1 Motion on an Incline 2 Error Analysis 3 Newton's First Law 4 Newton's Second Law 5 Newton's Third Law 6 Projectile Motion 7 Energy Storage and Transfer: Elastic Energy 8 Energy Storage and Transfer: Kinetic Energy 9 Energy Storage and Transfer: Gravitational Energy 10A Impulse and Momentum (Motion Detector) 10B Impulse and Momentum (Photogate) 11A Momentum and Collisions (Motion Detectors) 11B Momentum and Collisions (Photogates) 12A Centripetal Acceleration 12B Centripetal Acceleration 13 Rotational Dynamics 14 Conservation of Angular Momentum 15 Simple Harmonic Motion: Mathematical Model 16 Simple Harmonic Motion: Kinematics and Dynamics 17 Pendulum Periods 18 Physical Pendulum 19 Center of Mass

Experiment 12A from Advanced Physics with Vernier — Mechanics Lab Book

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.