Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Centripetal Acceleration

Figure from experiment 12A from Advanced Physics with Vernier - Mechanics

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.

Additional Requirements

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

Standards Correlations

No standards correlations for this experiment.

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

<i>Advanced Physics with Vernier - Mechanics</i> book cover

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.

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