Practice Problems
Centripetal Acceleration
Directions:
On this worksheet ...
Question 1
A baseball player rounds second base in an arc with a radius of curvature of 6.7 m at a speed of 5.5 m/s. If he weighs 918 N, what is the centripetal force that must be acting on him? (remember that weight is the product of mass times gravity)
7.69 x 10
^{1}
N
9.37 x 10
^{1}
N
4.14 x 10
^{3}
N
4.23 x 10
^{2}
N
Question 2
A small rock is being twirled along a circular path forming a conical pendulum. Which of the following statements is FALSE?
The rock is being accelerated towards the center of the circle.
The centripetal force is being supplied by a component of the rock's weight.
There are only two forces acting on the rock: tension and its weight.
Although the rock has constant speed, it has a constantly changing velocity.
Question 3
Two identical cars are traveling at the same speed. Car #1 goes through a curve with radius, r, while car #2 goes through a curve having a radius of 2r. How do their accelerations compare?
a
_{1}
= ½a
_{2}
a
_{1}
= 4a
_{2}
a
_{1}
= ¼a
_{2}
a
_{1}
= 2a
_{2}
a
_{1}
= a
_{2}
Question 4
A 5.5-kg mass is tied to a rope which has a breaking strength of 2.8 kN. What is the maximum speed the mass can have if it is whirled around in a horizontal circle with a 1.1-m radius and the rope is not to break?
1.3 m/sec
23.7 m/sec
4.1 m/sec
0.7 m/sec
Question 5
Three rocking horses are placed on a rotating platform. If the horses stay in place when the platform comes up to speed, which of the following statement is FALSE?
The horse closest to the edge experiences the greater tangential velocity, v
The horse closest to the center has the greatest angular velocity, ω
For each horse, the normal will equal the horse's weight.
Static friction is the source of the centripetal force holding each of the horses in place.
Question 6
If an occupant in the passenger seat of Car #1 in Question 3 were to describe the forces acting on him while the car was traveling through the curve, which statement would be correct?
I was thrown forward towards the dashboard and the seatbelt pulled me back towards the seat and kept me moving in a circle.
I was thrown backwards into the seat and friction kept me moving in a circle.
I was pushed outward and the seatbelt pulled me back to keep me moving in a circle.
My body's inertia wanted me to continue along my original straight line path and the normal supplied by the door forced me to move in a circle.
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