AP Physics Unit

Unit 3 - Circular Motion

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Mathematical

GQ

Riders in a carnival ride stand with their backs against the wall of a circular room of diameter 8.0 m. The room is spinning horizontally about an axis through its center at a rate of 45 rev/min when the floor drops so that it no longer provides any support for the riders. What is the minimum coefficient of static friction between the wall and the rider required so that the rider does not slide down the wall?

First, convert the rotational speed to radians per second: \omega = 45 , \frac{\text{rev}}{\text{min}} \times \frac{1 , \text{min}}{60 , \text{s}} \times \frac{2\pi , \text{radians}}{1 , \text{rev}}.

Note you can convert to linear velocity v instead of using \omega , since v = \omega r , where r is the radius of the circle.

The minimum coefficient of static friction is found using the balance of forces in the vertical direction, with the static frictional force providing the upward force to counteract gravity, and the centripetal force being provided by the normal force.

Step Formula / Derivation Reasoning
1 a_c = \frac{v^2}{R} Centripetal acceleration formula.
2 v = R\omega Linear velocity in terms of radius and angular velocity.
3 a_c = R\omega^2 Substitute v into the centripetal acceleration formula.
4 F_c = m a_c = m R\omega^2 Centripetal force provided by the normal force.
5 f_s = \mu_s N Static frictional force opposing gravity.
6 f_s = m g Static frictional force equals gravitational force to prevent sliding.
7 \mu_s = \frac{f_s}{N} = \frac{mg}{mR\omega^2} Substitute f_s and N with their equivalents.
8 \mu_s = \frac{g}{R\omega^2} Cancel m from the equation.
9 \mu_s = \frac{g}{R\left(\frac{45}{60} \times 2\pi\right)^2} Substitute \omega with its value in terms of rev/min to rad/s.
10 \mu_s = \frac{9.8}{4\left(\frac{3}{4} \pi\right)^2} Substitute given values for g and R.
11 \mu_s = \frac{9.8}{4\left(\frac{9}{16} \pi^2\right)} Simplify the expression for \omega^2.
12 \boxed{\mu_s = \frac{9.8 \times 16}{4 \times 9 \pi^2}} Final expression for \mu_s.

Now let’s calculate the exact value for the minimum coefficient of static friction required.

The minimum coefficient of static friction required so that the rider does not slide down the wall is  \boxed{\mu_s \approx 0.11}

\boxed{\mu_s \approx 0.11}

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\boxed{\mu_s \approx 0.11}

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Nerd-Notes.com
KinematicsForces
\Delta x = v_i t + \frac{1}{2} at^2F = ma
v = v_i + atF_g = \frac{G m_1m_2}{r^2}
a = \frac{\Delta v}{\Delta t}f = \mu N
R = \frac{v_i^2 \sin(2\theta)}{g} 
Circular MotionEnergy
F_c = \frac{mv^2}{r}KE = \frac{1}{2} mv^2
a_c = \frac{v^2}{r}PE = mgh
 KE_i + PE_i = KE_f + PE_f
MomentumTorque and Rotations
p = m v\tau = r \cdot F \cdot \sin(\theta)
J = \Delta pI = \sum mr^2
p_i = p_fL = I \cdot \omega
Simple Harmonic Motion
F = -k x
T = 2\pi \sqrt{\frac{l}{g}}
T = 2\pi \sqrt{\frac{m}{k}}
ConstantDescription
gAcceleration due to gravity, typically 9.8 , \text{m/s}^2 on Earth’s surface
GUniversal Gravitational Constant, 6.674 \times 10^{-11} , \text{N} \cdot \text{m}^2/\text{kg}^2
\mu_k and \mu_sCoefficients of kinetic (\mu_k) and static (\mu_s) friction, dimensionless. Static friction (\mu_s) is usually greater than kinetic friction (\mu_k) as it resists the start of motion.
kSpring constant, in \text{N/m}
M_E = 5.972 \times 10^{24} , \text{kg} Mass of the Earth
M_M = 7.348 \times 10^{22} , \text{kg} Mass of the Moon
M_M = 1.989 \times 10^{30} , \text{kg} Mass of the Sun
VariableSI Unit
s (Displacement)\text{meters (m)}
v (Velocity)\text{meters per second (m/s)}
a (Acceleration)\text{meters per second squared (m/s}^2\text{)}
t (Time)\text{seconds (s)}
m (Mass)\text{kilograms (kg)}
VariableDerived SI Unit
F (Force)\text{newtons (N)}
E, PE, KE (Energy, Potential Energy, Kinetic Energy)\text{joules (J)}
P (Power)\text{watts (W)}
p (Momentum)\text{kilogram meters per second (kgm/s)}
\omega (Angular Velocity)\text{radians per second (rad/s)}
\tau (Torque)\text{newton meters (Nm)}
I (Moment of Inertia)\text{kilogram meter squared (kgm}^2\text{)}
f (Frequency)\text{hertz (Hz)}

General Metric Conversion Chart

Example of using unit analysis: Convert 5 kilometers to millimeters. 

  1. Start with the given measurement: \text{5 km}

  2. Use the conversion factors for kilometers to meters and meters to millimeters: \text{5 km} \times \frac{10^3 \, \text{m}}{1 \, \text{km}} \times \frac{10^3 \, \text{mm}}{1 \, \text{m}}

  3. Perform the multiplication: \text{5 km} \times \frac{10^3 \, \text{m}}{1 \, \text{km}} \times \frac{10^3 \, \text{mm}}{1 \, \text{m}} = 5 \times 10^3 \times 10^3 \, \text{mm}

  4. Simplify to get the final answer: \boxed{5 \times 10^6 \, \text{mm}}

Prefix

Symbol

Power of Ten

Equivalent

Pico-

p

10^{-12}

Nano-

n

10^{-9}

Micro-

µ

10^{-6}

Milli-

m

10^{-3}

Centi-

c

10^{-2}

Deci-

d

10^{-1}

(Base unit)

10^{0}

Deca- or Deka-

da

10^{1}

Hecto-

h

10^{2}

Kilo-

k

10^{3}

Mega-

M

10^{6}

Giga-

G

10^{9}

Tera-

T

10^{12}

  1. Some answers may be slightly off by 1% depending on rounding, etc.
  2. Answers will use different values of gravity. Some answers use 9.81 m/s2, and other 10 m/s2 for calculations.
  3. Variables are sometimes written differently from class to class. For example, sometime initial velocity v_i is written as u ; sometimes \Delta x is written as s .
  4. Bookmark questions that you can’t solve so you can come back to them later. 
  5. Always get help if you can’t figure out a problem. The sooner you can get it cleared up the better chances of you not getting it wrong on a test!

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