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4. Physics and Natural Laws

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15. Centrifugal & Centripetal Force

Centrifugal force is the tendency for objects to be pulled outward when rotating around a center. Physics teachers will often say that centrifugal force isn't actually a force at all. It is actually the inertia of an object, tending to go in a straight line, as shown in the upper left picture.


In a turn, your car is subject to centrifugal force which is pulling your car away from the direction you want to turn and into a straight line. In addition, all four wheels are pointed in slightly different directions, causing a " controlled skid " throughout the turn. Traction is necessary to keep from losing control in a turn. Too much speed, or too much braking can cause a loss of the necessary traction.


Have you ever ridden a bicycle or motorcycle into a turn or curve? You must tilt your bike and lean to the inside of the turn in order to accomplish the same thing, because you only have two wheels, thus less friction (traction).


Click on pictures to see full-size image




Lesson Summary


  

Lesson 4 Quiz


You will now answer 5 questions to test what you learned during this lesson. You must answer all questions correctly to receive completion credit for this lesson. You may answer the questions as many times as necessary to get them right.

You should review the lesson material if you don't do well on the quiz.

  1. The best way to maximize the traction of your tires is to:


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  2. According to the formula for stopping distance, how many feet will it take you to stop, from 60 mph?


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  3. Centrifugal force:


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  4. The primary factor in decreasing the Kinetic Energy of an object is to:


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  5. Gravity:


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