Introduction

The topic I chose to demonstrate is Circular Motion.  I find this to be a very interesting topic that is present in many things we see and experience.  I hope that because of this it can be understood and interesting.

It starts off with a discussion with same examples which most people will have encountered.  For example:

Ÿ         Roller coasters

Ÿ         Motion of planets around the sun

These examples will hopefully show that such a thing as circular motion does exist, and the forces related are necessary for the above to be possible.  Before I start on circular motion I take a few steps back and talk about Newton’s Second Law.  It is important to know what a force is, the difference between mass and weight, and understanding what velocity is and how it is represented. Many equations in physics stem from similar places (ie. Newton’s Laws) so the reviews may help in other areas as well.

Next we start with finding what tangential velocity is, and how vectors represent this.  Now centripetal acceleration and centripetal force can be derived with help of the demonstrations.  I found it important to verify that the centripetal force is not a new force and show how some familiar forces “act” as the centripetal force.  The final demonstration gives the students a fun way to see the factors necessary to obtain circular motion            .

I hope this lesson and the demonstrations will provide an enjoyable and comprehensive understanding of circular motion.   These students will hopefully leave with the ability to recognize and apply this to everyday life.  I find it important to show where equations come from, this way one can understand instead of memorize.