Saturday, April 14, 2012

Experiment of Centrifugal Force

Centrifugal force is the fictitious effect that appear when an object is doing a circular motion. Centrifugal means moving away from the center of rotation. For example, every time we are in a car and take a bend - we feel a force pushing us to the outside of the curve. Or, If you ever go to dunia fantasi in Jakarta and ride rotation train (rollercoaster), when the train rotates and turned up, why don’t you fall? That is the effect of centrifugal force. Same as that event, in this activity you will show that water in a pail, when the pail rotates, the water does not spill, although when the pail is above, the pail faces downward turned up.

What do you need?
  • A string of length 60 cm.
  • A small plastic pail.
  • 250 ml water.

What must you do?
  1. Bundle string strongly to the pail holder.
  2. Put in the water into the pail.
  3. Find big enough place so there is no danger of pail hit, if the pail is released. Better this experiment is done in the yard.
  4. Hold the string which its one end has been bundled to pail holder, then rotates the pail fast.

What happens?
  • The water will stay in the pail though the pail in turned up condition.

Why can this happen?
Centrifugal force which appears because of circular motion, balance the gravitational force, so the water does not spill from the pail. That force causes the water is turned up at the side of pail, the water doesn’t spill and it doesn’t spill out from the pail. If you succeed making this experiment, you can try it again by using tennis ball as replacement of the water, and certainly the experiment is done outside the house.

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