AP Physics C: Mechanics : Interpreting Circular Motion Diagrams

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Physics C: Mechanics

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Circular Motion


A ball of mass  is tied to a rope and moves along a horizontal circular path of radius  as shown in the diagram (view from above). The maximum tension the rope can stand before breaking is given by . Which of the following represents the ball's linear velocity given that the rope does not break?

Possible Answers:

None of these

Correct answer:


This is a centripetal force problem. In this case the tension on the rope is the centripetal force that keeps the ball moving on a circle.

If we want for the rope not to break, then the tension should never exceed .

Now we just solve for velocity:

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