Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite

Edward F. Redish

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Fly on an LP

An old-fashioned record player spins a disk at approximately a constant angular velocity, ω. A fly of mass m is sitting on the disk as it turns, at a point a distance R from the center.

  1. What force keeps the fly from sliding off the rotating disk? What direction does it point? How big is it? For the last question, express your answer in terms of the symbols given in the description above.

  2. If the fly has a mass of 0.5 grams, is sitting 10 cm from the center of the disk, and the disk is turning at a rate of 33 rpm, what is the coefficient of friction?

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Page last modified November 6, 2004: R11