Circular motion. Centripetal force

Do you want to know what are the forces acting in a circular motion?

The online simulations of circular motion forces on this page will allow you to know and understand much better how are the forces acting in the circular motion of an object.

For a circular motion to occur it is necessary that the moving object has a centripetal acceleration, i.e. an acceleration directed towards the center of the trajectory circumference. It is this centripetal acceleration that continuously modifies the velocity and causes the circular motion. For this centripetal acceleration to exist, it is necessary the existence of a centripetal force that generates the acceleration.

The centripetal force is the only one strictly necessary for the existence of a circular motion. The centripetal force can be caused, for example, by gravity, as occurs in planetary motion, or, for example, by the tension of a cable as occurs in the spinning motion of a hammer throw. The magnitude of the centripetal force is determined by the mass of the object, its velocity and the radius of the trajectory.

In addition to centripetal force an object in circular motion can be affected by other forces, such as frictional forces, electromagnetic forces, etc. Understanding and analyzing these forces is essential to understand and predict the circular motion of an object in different situations.

In short, the online circular motion force simulations on this page are a very helpful tool for studying the forces in this important type of motion.

Force on straight motion

Angle between force and velocity

This simulation allows you to change the angle between the force and velocity vectors and check how it affects the trajectory.
Click here to start the simulation

Circular motion lab

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