Motion and Forces on a Banked Curve

Level of difficulty:  variable, algebra to precalculus

These problems deal with an object (a car, for example) navigating a circular curve at constant speed.  The radius of the curve is fixed at 10 m, but the speed and mass of the object, the angle at which the curve is banked, the coefficient of static friction, and the gravitational field strength can all be varied.

curve1_small_64.gif (2486 bytes)Two views of the object are shown:  i)  overhead showing the circular path with acceleration and velocity vectors, ii) ground level showing the forces acting on the object.  As the values of input parameters are changed, the vectors change in response.  A "fric-o-meter" gauges the ratio of the actual static friction to the maximum available static friction.  This allows the user to determine whether the object will skid off the curve or slide down to the center.

Ground-level view

Curve2.gif (9795 bytes)


Launch Banked Curve Problems