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Accelerating Reference System

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Forces that arise in accelerating reference systems are called inertial forces. Another common label for these forces is fictitious forces.

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Realistic Inertial Forces

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Centrifugal Forces

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Simulated Gravity

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Simulated Gravity in the Space

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Earth: Nearly Inertial System

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Ptolemy: Geocentric System Copernicus: Heliocentric System

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Copernicus’s model was simpler for visualization, but Ptolemy’s model was certainly closer to everyday life.

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If the Earth is moving, why it doesn’t leave birds behind?

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Nonlinear Effects of Earth Motion

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A Foucault Pendulum

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Coriolis’s Force This is a force you feel trying going straightforward in rotational system.

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A 180 Lbs person takes a ride in the elevator that goes up the side of the Space Needle in Seattle. Much to the amusement of the other passengers, this person stands on a bathroom scale during the ride. During the time the elevator is accelerating upward, is the reading on the scale greater than, equal to, or less than 180 Lbs? Explain.

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During the time the elevator in previous question is moving upward with constant speed, is reading on the scale greater than, equal to, or less than 180 Lbs? Explain. Assume that you are standing on a bathroom scale while an elevator slows down to stop at the top floor. Will the reading on the scale be greater than, equal to, or less than the reading when the elevator stopped? Why? The elevator in previous question now starts downward to return to the ground floor. Will the reading on the scale be greater than, equal to, or less than the reading when the elevator stopped? Why?

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Assume that a meter-stick balance is balanced with a 20- gram mass at 40 cm from the center and a 40-gram mass at 20 cm from the center. Will it remain balanced if it is in an elevator accelerating downward? Explain your reasoning. Assume you weigh a book on a equal-arm balance while an elevator is stopped at the ground floor. Would you get the same result if the elevator were accelerating upward? Explain your reasoning.

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You wake up in a windowless room on a train, traveling along particularly smooth, horizontal tracks. You don’t know in which direction the train is moving, but now you have a compass. You place a ball in the center of the floor and observe as it rolls east. If the train is going west, is it speeding up, slowing down or turning with constant speed? What if a train is moving east? North? South?

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In an inertial reference system, we define up as the direction opposite the gravitational force. In a non inertial reference system, up is defined as the direction opposite the vector sum of gravitational force and any inertial forces. Which direction is up in each of the following cases? a.An elevator accelerates downward with an acceleration smaller than that of free fall. b.An elevator accelerates upward with acceleration larger than that of free fall. c.An elevator accelerates downward with an acceleration larger than that of free fall.

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Using the definition of up in previous question, which direction is up for each of the following situations? a.A child rides near the outer edge of merry-go-round. b.A dining car going around a curve turns to the right.

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For a science project, a student plants some bean seeds in water and lets them grow in containers fastened near the outer edge of a merry-go-round that is continually turning. Draw a side view of the experiment showing the direction the plants will grow.

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Why does the mud fly off the tires of a pickup traveling down the interstate? Copernicus had difficulty convincing his peers of the validity of his heliocentric model because if Earth were moving around the Sun, stellar parallax should have been observed, which is wasn’t. If Earth’s orbital radius about the Sun were magically doubled, would this make stellar parallax easier or harder to observe? Explain.

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Why are there no hurricanes on the equator? It is known that Earth is bigger around the equator than around the poles. How does this equatorial bulge support the idea that Earth is rotating?

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