Ball on a string

The simulation shows a ball on a string. The ball is experiencing uniform circular motion, moving in a horizontal circle (the simulation tries to show a three-dimensional view, but the circle really is horizontal).

Using the sliders, you can control the strength of the gravitational field (g), the mass (m) of the ball, the length (L) of the string, and the speed (v) of the ball. Explore how changing the values of these parameters affects the path of the ball, and the ball's free-body diagram (shown at right). What are the two forces shown on the free-body diagram? How are they affected by adjusting the slider values?

Simulation written by Andrew Duffy, and first posted on 5-22-2018.

Creative Commons License
This work by Andrew Duffy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
This simulation can be found in the collection at

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