Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sign in | Create Account

MIT Physics Demo -- Centrifugal versus Centripetal Motion

A wooden ball is attached to the rim of a spinning wheel. The ball is held in place by a string. When the spring is cut, the ball flies in a straight tangent to the wheel.

In the camera's frame of reference, the ball constantly accelerates around in a circle due to the centripetal force pulling it inwards. When the string is cut, the acceleration stops, and the ball flies away in a straight tangential line. When the string is cut in the rotating frame of reference, a ficticious force (centrifugal force) accelerates the ball.

Comments (2)

Thanks! We used this in homeschool physics. It was a great visual. It would have been a shade better if the person's arm was not in the way on the second view…

Posted over 5 years by Anonymous User

blah blah blah

Posted over 5 years by Anonymous

You need to log in, in order to post comments. If you don’t have an account yet, sign up now!

August 28, 2008 14:21
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (What is this?)
Additional Files

32609 times

More from MIT Department of Physics Technical Services Group

The Coriolis Effect

The Coriolis Effect

Added almost 5 years ago | 00:03:00 | 75580 views

MIT Physics Demo -- Conductivity of Ionized Water

MIT Physics Demo -- Conductivity of...

Added 6 years ago | 00:00:53 | 45606 views

Center of Mass Trajectory

Center of Mass Trajectory

Added 5 years ago | 00:01:30 | 47701 views

Two Dimensional Collisions

Two Dimensional Collisions

Added 5 years ago | 00:01:19 | 44095 views

Coupled Air Carts

Coupled Air Carts

Added 5 years ago | 00:07:38 | 48209 views

Confetti and the Van de Graaff Generator

Confetti and the Van de Graaff Gene...

Added over 5 years ago | 00:00:55 | 41039 views