Friday, 16 November 2018


When a ball tied to the end of a string is whirled in a circular path, the centripetal force is provided by the tension in the string. If we leave the string, the ball flies along the tangent to the circle. The reason is obvious. On releasing the string, the tension, and hence the centripetal force vanishes, and the ball then moves along a straight line as enunciated by Newton’s first law of motion. 

The mud particles stuck to the tyres of cycles and cars plying on muddy road are thrown away tangentially. Hence mud-guards are fixed on these vehicles. The earth moves round the sun under a centripetal force directed towards the sun. This force is provided by the gravitational attraction on the earth by the sun. Similarly, the moon moves around the earth under the centripetal force provided by the gravitational attraction exerted on the moon by the earth. In an atom, electrons continue to revolve around the nucleus in circular orbits. The centripetal force is provided by the electrostatic force of attraction between the negatively–charged electron and the positively charged nucleus. Centrifugal Force:We have seen that there is an acceleration associated with circular motion. Any rotating reference frame is, therefore, an accelerating frame and hence a non-inertial reference frame. We have also seen that Newton’s Laws do not apply in such reference frames. In case of linearly accelerated reference frames.

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