Forces and Free-Body Diagrams in Circular Motion - Questions

The Forces and Free-Body Diagrams in Circular Motion Concept Builder is comprised of only 12 questions. The Concept Builder is coded to require a student to correctly analyze the forces for each of the 12 situations..

There are three different difficulty levels that can be engaged in through the Concept Builder.  The difficulty levels can be differentiated as follows:
 
  • Apprentice Level: Questions 1-4 Includes two horizontal circles and two vertical circles.
  • Master Level: Questions 1-8 Includes two horizontal circles and five vertical circles and one horizontal circle with angled forces.
  • Wizard: Questions 5-12 Includes four vertical circles and four horizontal circles with angled forces.

The questions are shown below. Teachers are encouraged to view the questions in order to judge which difficulty levels are most appropriate for their classes. We recommend providing students two or more options. 

The Physics Classroom grants teachers and other users the right to print these questions for private use. Users are also granted the right to copy the text and modify it for their own use. However, this document should not be uploaded to other servers for distribution to and/or display by others. The Physics Classroom website should remain the only website or server from which the document is distributed or displayed. We also provide a PDF that teachers can use under the same conditions. We have included a link to the PDF near the bottom of this page.

 

Forces in Circular Motion

 
Three Levels of Difficulty
Apprentice Level: Questions 1-4
Master Level: Questions 1 – 8
Wizard Level: Questions: 5 - 12
 
 
Question 1
Lisa Honda is turning in a circle while traveling along a level road. Identify the free-body diagram that shows the type and direction of the forces acting on her car.
 
 
Question 2
Al Wayspinnan walks onto the platform of a barrel ride at an amusement park and stands against the wall. Once the ride starts and Al is traveling in a horizontal circle at high speed, the floor is <I>dropped out</I>. Identify the free-body diagram that shows the type and direction of the forces acting on Al once the floor is removed.
 
 
Question 3
Darrel Deval is on a <I>looping</I> roller coaster ride. He is upside down at the top of the loop and traveling at high speed. Identify the free-body diagram that shows the type and direction of the forces acting on Darrel <B>at the top</B> of the loop.
 
 
Question 4
Darrel Deval is on a <I>looping</I> roller coaster ride. He is right-side up at the bottom of the loop and traveling at high speed. Identify the free-body diagram that shows the type and direction of the forces acting on Darrel <B>at the bottom</B> of the loop.
 
 
Question 5
A rope is tied to a bucket that is half-filled with peas.  After discussing the importance of whirled peas, a Physics teacher holds the rope and whirls the bucket of peas in a vertical circle. Identify the free-body diagram that shows the type and direction of the forces acting on the bucket of peas when it is <B>at the bottom</B> of the circular loop.
 
 
Question 6
A rope is tied to a bucket that is half-filled with peas.  After discussing the importance of whirled peas, a Physics teacher holds the rope and whirls the bucket of peas in a vertical circle. Identify the free-body diagram that shows the type and direction of the forces acting on the bucket of peas when it is <B>at the top</B> of the circular loop.
 
 
Question 7
A light rope is tied to a glass vase. Rex Things holds the free end of the rope and whirls the vase in a horizontal circle. Identify the free-body diagram that shows the type and direction of the forces acting on the vase as it spins in the horizontal circle.
 
 
Question 8
Phil Engees is nearing the end of a roller coaster ride and moving at high speed over a series of sharply-curved vertical hills. At the bottom of one hill, Phil experiences a large number of G’s as the car abruptly pulls out of the vertical descent. Identify the free-body diagram that shows the type and direction of the forces acting on Phil <B>at the bottom</B> of this hill.
 
 
Question 9
Phil Engees is nearing the end of a roller coaster ride and moving at high speed over a series of sharply- curved vertical hills. At the top of one hill, Phil is lifted off his seat and held in the car only by the lap bar that crosses his lap. Identify the free-body diagram that shows the type and direction of the forces acting on Phil <B>at the top</B> of this hill.
 
 
Question 10
Lisa Honda is driving her car at high speed through a horizontal turn on a sharply banked roadway. Identify the free-body diagram that shows the type and direction of the forces acting on Lisa’s car.
 
 
Question 11
A rope is tied to a bucket that is half-filled with peas. After discussing the importance of whirled peas, a Physics teacher holds the rope and whirls the bucket of peas in a horizontal circle. Identify the free-body diagram that shows the type and direction of the forces acting on the bucket of peas.
 
 
Question 12
Meghan Golse is the school’s best soccer player. During one game, Meghan makes a sharp 180-degree turn on the horizontal turf. Meghan leans at an angle to the vertical as she makes the turn. Identify the free-body diagram that shows the type and direction of the forces acting on Meghan during this turn.
 



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