# Uniform Circular Motion Project

Uniform Circular Motion Project:
Objective: By the end of the project period students will create a product that shows their
understanding of the Uniform Circular Motion.
Notes:
 This should be done independently.
 You are to use Google Slides as the medium for your product as you will turn it in
electronically. Try to answer a question per slide.
Part 1:
Experiment with the on-screen buttons in order to gain familiarity with the control of the
animation. The object speed, radius of the circle and object mass can be varies using the sliders
or the buttons. The vector nature of velocity and acceleration can be displayed on the screen.
The acceleration of and the net force values are displayed in the animation window.
1. Velocity is a vector quantity which has both magnitude and direction. Using complete
sentences describes the object’s velocity as it travels around the circular path. Comment
on both the magnitude and the direction.
2. True or False: if an object moves in a circle at a constant speed its velocity vector will be
3. Provide three screen captures that show velocity and acceleration vectors for three
different points on its circular path. Describe the relationship between the direction of the
velocity vector and the direction of the acceleration for a body moving in a circle at
constant speed.
4. If an object is in uniform circular motion, then it is accelerating towards the center of the
circle; yet the object never gets any closer to the
center of the circle. It maintains a constant circular
path at a constant radius from the circle’s center.
Suggest a reason as to how this can be. How can
an object accelerate towards the center without
ever getting any closer to the center?
5. Suppose that at point A that the object traveled in
a straight line at a constant speed towards B’. In
what direction must a force be applied to force
the object back towards B? Copy the diagram
and add an arrow in the direction of the required
force. Repeat the procedure for an object moving
from C to D’. Draw an arrow.
If the acceleration of the body is towards the
center, what is the direction of the unbalanced force? Using a complete sentence
describe the direction of the net force that causes the body to travel in a circle at
constant speed.
6. Explore the quantitative dependencies of the acceleration upon the speed and the
radius of curvature. (In other words, what is the mathematical relationships between
questions and provide evidence.
a. If speed stays constant, the acceleration of the object varies _____________ (directly,
inversely) with the radius of curvature.
b. If radius of curvature stays constant, the acceleration of the object varies
_____________ (directly, inversely) with the speed of the object.
c. As the speed of an object is doubled, the acceleration is __________________ (onefourth, one-half, two times, four times) the original value.
d. As the speed of an object is tripled, the acceleration is __________________ (one- third,
one-ninth, three times, nine times) the original value.
e. As the radius of the circle is doubled, the acceleration is __________________ (onefourth, one-half, two times, four times) the original value.
f. As the radius of the circle is tripled, the acceleration is __________________ (one- third,
one-ninth, three times, nine times) the original value.
Part 2:
Each of the following situations shows the existence of a fictitious force.
 Being pushed back into your seat as a plane accelerates
 The pull out from the center on a spinning ride
 Coriolis effect
For each situation describe what is occurring using inertial and non-inertial reference frames.
Provide diagrams where appropriate. (3 points each)
Part 3:
Answer the following questions use diagrams where appropriate (2 points each):
1. Is there a real force that throws water from clothes during the spin cycle of a washing
machine? Explain how the water is removed.
2. In one amusement park ride, riders enter a large vertical barrel and stand against the
wall on its horizontal floor. The barrel is spun up and the floor drops away. Riders feel as if
they are pinned to the wall by a force something like the gravitational force. This is a
fictitious force sensed and used by the riders to explain events in the rotating frame of
reference of the barrel. Explain in an inertial frame of reference (Earth is nearly one) what
pins the riders to the wall, and identify all of the real forces acting on them.
3. Two friends are having a conversation. Anna says a satellite in orbit is in freefall because
the satellite keeps falling toward Earth. Tom says a satellite in orbit is not in freefall
because the acceleration due to gravity is not 9.80 m/s2. Who do you agree with and
why?
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