Physics in Non-Inertial Reference Frames
Poster at the Spring 2014 NCS-AAPT Meeting in Boone, North Carolina
This project focused on creating classroom-friendly videos of motion in non-inertial reference frames where fictitious forces are required in order to apply Newton’s laws. To explore motion in a linearly accelerating frame, we attached a camera to a fancart which accelerated down a track, and we recorded video of a neighboring fan cart accelerating down a parallel track at a lower rate. To explore motion in a rotating frame, we attached a camera to a rotating turntable and rolled a steel ball across the turntable. We collected data on the ball’s motion from one video camera in the rotating reference frame and from a second camera in the lab frame. We analyzed the videos from each experiment using the video analysis software Tracker to determine mathematical models for each force. We created simulations of the motion in each frame in VPython. Results from both the video analysis and the corresponding computational models will be compared and discussed.