GCSE Physics Unit 3 - Centripetal force, satellites & magnetism

Fairly comprehensive notes covering;

  • centripetal force
  • artificial and natural satellites
  • basic principles of magnetism.

Created for the 2011 AQA unit 3 exam - any changes to the specification since then are not included.

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  • Created by: Sarah
  • Created on: 03-01-12 18:37
Preview of GCSE Physics Unit 3 - Centripetal force, satellites & magnetism

First 243 words of the document:

Centripetal Force
This force acts when we whirl a cork on a string
around. It acts inwardly towards the middle of the
circle, like so
o The cork travels at the same speed, but
changes direction.
o As it changes direction its velocity changes.
o The velocity changes thus it accelerates
towards the centre of the circle.
o The resultant force is centripetal force.
We can alter increase the size of the centripetal force
o Larger mass objects
o A smaller circle
o Increase speed
Centripetal force can be seen in many natural events, such as the planets orbiting
the Sun (the Sun's gravity), electrons orbiting a nucleus (electrostatic forces of
attraction) and a hammer thrower (tension in the wire).
Bicycles and Cars
As you corner on a bike, the frictional
force of the road on the tyres pushes you
towards the inside of the bend. With no other
forces, it will make you fall over towards the
outside of the bend.
But when you lean slightly you are still
being pushed towards the inside of the road
however, the force is balanced by the
reaction force of the road on the bike. The
forces balance out and you turn. (It's pretty
much the same for the car.)
Natural Satellites

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