Friction on a Turntable

Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 06/02/2017 - 18:56


An inertial force arises from the rotation of the object and the object mass (sometimes called the centrifugal force, not to be confused with centripetal force). If the inertial force is greater than the force of friction, the object will slide off of the rotating turntable (following Newton’s First Law of Motion). The parameters that cause the inertial force to be greater than the force of friction depend on many variables.


In this experiment, student will: 1. Use a turntable (or Lazy Susan or Frisbee) to investigate how the radius of the PocketLab from the center, the angular velocity of the PocketLab, and the type of material the PocketLab is on, affects whether the object can stay on the turntable. 2. Explain how and why those different variables affect whether the PocketLab stays on the turntable

Download PDF for complete lab activity

Friction on a turntable diagram
Grade Level