Physics: Principles with Applications (7th Edition)

Published by Pearson
ISBN 10: 0-32162-592-7
ISBN 13: 978-0-32162-592-2

Chapter 5 - Circular Motion; Gravitation - Questions: 9

Answer

a. Objects will fall straight down when dropped. b. Normal forces from the surface to the feet would feel similar to walking under regular gravity. c. A passenger's head towards the center would feel less acceleration than their feet, leading to potentially disorienting sensations.

Work Step by Step

For objects touching the inner surface of the cylinder, the normal force pushing inward provides a centripetal force. This normal force feels like the normal force from the ground when we are on Earth. a. A released object will continue to move in a straight line at constant speed. As seen by astronauts, it falls toward the shell/floor in a curved path. b. The magnitude of the normal force on the astronaut’s feet will depend on the radius and spinning speed of the cylinder, and this can be varied. This is the principle behind centrifuges. c. The small cylinder means that the astronaut's head and feet will be moving in arcs of different radii, so there will be a difference in the simulated gravity at the head compared to at the toes. This could cause motion sickness. Astronauts would also initially be very bad at catching dropped objects, or playing catch, because of the apparent variation of gravity with height.
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