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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Monday, June 16, 2008

Luke Learned How To Balance A Penny On A Spinning Coat Hanger


At our Father's Day Cookout, Ronnie told Luke about someone at work who could balance a penny on a coat hanger and spin it around. So Luke had to try and he finally did pretty well!

By the way, there are three other centripetal force experiments that children can try demonstrating centripetal force. One experiment is a ball on a string that is whirled in a circle above your head. When the string is released the ball travels off in a straight line. The second experiment is a coat hanger with a penny. The penny is balanced on the tip of the hook and then the coat hanger is whirled in a vertical circle as the penny stays on thetip. The last experiment is a bucket of water that is also whirled in a vertical circle and the water stays in the bucket.

The speed of a moving body and its direction of movement remain constant according to Newton's first law (law of inertia) if no force acts on it. The circumstances of a circular motion are different: In this case there must be a force, the so-called centripetal force, which is directed to the axis of rotation. Any motion in a curved path represents accelerated motion, and requires a force directed toward the center of curvature of the path. This force is called the centripetal force which means, in latin, "center seeking" force. Whenever an object moves in a circular path we know the object is accelerating because the velocity is constantly changing direction. All accelerations are caused by a net force acting on an object. In the case of an object moving in a circular path, the net force is a special force called the centripetal force (not centrifugal!).

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