May 23rd, 2010

Catherine Hendricks

An Alternative Numerical Technique for Calculating the Perpendicular Component of the Net Force on an Object

According to Newton’s second law, the net force on an object is equal to the time rate of change of the object’s momentum. The perpendicular component of the net force on the object changes the direction of the momentum and the tangential component of the net force changes the magnitude of the momentum. For motion of an object along any curved path, a numerical technique to calculate the perpendicular component of the net force based on a best-fit circle at a point on the object’s path is being investigated. This numerical technique and approximations will be presented along with a comparison of its results with what is obtained from a numerical derivative of the momentum vector.

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