ap physics 1

👉 AP Physics Essentials

👟 Unit 1 - Kinematics

🌀 Unit 2 - Dynamics

🚀 Unit 3 - Circular Motion

⚡️ Unit 4 - Energy

⛳️ Unit 5 - Momentum

🎸 Unit 6 - Simple Harmonic Motion

🎡 Unit 7 - Torque & Rotational Motion

💡 Unit 8 - Electric Charges & Electric Force

🔋 Unit 9 - DC Circuits

🔊 Unit 10 - Mechanical Waves & Sound

10.3Interference and Superposition (Waves in Tubes and on Strings)

- Enduring Understanding 6.D 👨💻
- Essential Knowledge 6.D.1 🏘
- Essential Knowledge 6.D.2 🏘
- Essential Knowledge 6.D.3 🏘
- Essential Knowledge 6.D.4 🏘
- Essential Knowledge 6.D.5 🏘
- Superposition & Interference Patterns
- Beats
- Standing Waves
- Open and Closed Tubes
- Sample Question (AP Classroom)
- Sample Question (2019 AP Exam)

✍️ Free Response Questions (FRQs)

🧐 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

#uniformcircularmotion

#vectorfield

#vectors

#centripetalforce

⏱️ **2 min read**

written by

peter apps

June 8, 2020

A vector field gives, as a function of position (and perhaps time), the value of a physical quantity that is described by a vector.

*Key Concept:* **Vector Field** - the assignment of a **vector** to each point in a portion of space. A vector field can be visualized as a collection of arrows with a given magnitude and direction, each attached to a point in the plane.

Image courtesy of Open University.

As shown in the image above, a vector field can represent circular motion. From this vector field depiction, we can go into more depth of the specific components of **uniform circular motion**.

*Key Concept:* **Uniform Circular Motion** - the **motion** of an object in a **circle** at a constant speed that is accelerating due to a change in direction. In UCM there are four typical forces you will deal with: Tension, Friction, Gravity, and Normal. These forces are the **cause of** centripetal force.

Image courtesy of Quizlet.

From this diagram, we can see in uniform circular motion centripetal acceleration is constant and always **pointed towards the center**, or center-seeking. Similarly, the centripetal force always **points towards the center**. However, velocity is **tangent from the center**; therefore, it is not considered in the net force. All forces pointing towards the center of the circle are positive (+) and all forces pointing away from the center of the circle are negative (-). Anything that doesn’t point away from or towards the circle’s center isn’t considered in the net force.

*Key Concept:***Centrifugal**- moving or tending to move away from a center.*Key Concept:***Centripetal**- moving or tending to move toward a center.*Key Concept:***Centripetal Force**- a force that acts on a body moving in a circular path and is directed toward the center around which the body is moving.

* Equation:* Fc = mv^2/r, where Fc is Centripetal Force in Newtons, m is mass in kilograms, v is the velocity in m/s, and r is the radius in meters.

A common misconception with centripetal force is that it is a new force when, in actuality, it is the **net force** inward and should be treated as such. To prove this concept, let’s dive into how the equation for centripetal force is derived: Newton’s second law gives us the equation *F =ma*, which can also be adapted for net force. Acceleration in a uniform circular motion is given as *a = v^2/r*, so Centripetal Force is simply *mass x v^2/r* or mv^2/r. Remember to **not include centripetal force** on any free-body diagrams because it is not a force, but rather the net force.

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