Circular Motion Problem Solving

Circular Motion Problem Solving-59
And when a rope pulls, we call that the force of tension, so I'm gonna call this the tension. Now we know what kind of force is acting as the centripetal force. Sometimes, people want to do this, they're like, oh yeah, there's a force of tension, and there's also a centripetal force.But that's just crazy because this tension is the centripetal force. Similarly, over here, I'm not gonna draw the centripetal force twice. I mean, it's possible you could have two forces inward.

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Use Newton's second law again for another direction, and that'll get you to where you need to be.

So in other words, let's draw a quality force diagram.

A possible question would be, well, what's the force of tension in the rope?

And so, now's a good time for me to let you in on a little secret.

I wouldn't draw it twice anymore than I'd come over here and say, yeah, there's a normal force, there's also upward force. Maybe there's two ropes and you had a second tension over here pulling inward, but you'd better be able to identify what force it is before you draw it.

Don't just call it F centripetal, so you might be like, yeah, yeah, I get it.

So saying the force that causes this ball to go in a circle is the centripetal force is a little unsatisfying.

It'd be like answering the question, what force balances the force of gravity while the ball's on the table with the answer, the upward force.

And then you use Newton's second law for one of the directions at a time.

And if the direction you chose to analyze Newton's second law for didn't get you to where you needed to be, just do it again.

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