Question
Sun September 04, 2011 By: Venika Singhal

If a car is moving in vertical circle . At the top most point reaction and weight of car are in radial direction. Pl explain as I feel that reaction should be opposite to radial direction.

Expert Reply
Sun September 04, 2011

In non-uniform circular motion, normal force does not always point in the opposite direction of weight. Normal force and weight can point in the same direction. The reason for this is that the normal force is the sum of the weight and centripetal force. Since both weight and centripetal force points down at the top of the circle, normal force will point down as well. From a logical standpoint, a person who is traveling in the car will be upside down at the top of the circle. At that moment, the person’s seat is actually pushing down on the person, which is the normal force.

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