Loop-The-Loop

Purpose

To apply the ideas of conservation of energy in a rotating object and centripetal force.

Equipment

Loop-the-loop, as photographed, with superball.

Images

d1-53

Description

Motion of the ball down the track and around the loop-the-loop can be described in terms of gravitational potential energy, rotational and translational kinetic energy, and centripetal force. A ball of mass m and radius r must be released at some minimum height h above the bottom point of the track so that it will not leave the track while passing around the loop-the-loop. In order to stay on the track at the top of the loop the centrifugal reaction of the ball on the track must be equal to or greater than the gravitational force on the ball: mv^2/R = mg, or v^2 = gR, where v is its linear vel

References

(PIRA 1M40.20)