Home » Interesting Questions » Work and centripetal force

Work and centripetal force

Share with:

From: Shashaank Khanna
Subject: work done and centripetal force

Message Body:
My question is that throughout The Principia Newton uses the fact that for a body continuously moving in a uniform circular motion with constant velocity, the body falls a small distance towards the center of the circle. Had there been no centripetal force, the body would move along a straight line(tangent), but due to the force the body falls towards the center, Due to its velocity the body does not completely fall but moves in a circle. Now as Newton, Chandrashekhar and Feynman have shown in their respective books, and also quite obviously, in a very short interval of time the deviation produced by the force or more precisely the distance fallen by the body will pe parallel to the radius at the initial point and parallel to the central force at the point. Since the displacement will be parallel to the force ,some finite work would be done, because work is defined as the product of the force and the displacement caused by the force in the direction of the force. Important thing is that the displacement to be  taken is that which is caused by the force and not due to initial velocity. Therefore some finite , very small amount of work will be done by the centripetal force since the fallen distance and and the force are parallel. When this work be integrated over half a circle or 1/4 or 3/4 of circle it will give an increase in kinetic energy showing that the velocity has increased. This is contradictory. So what is wrong over here or is something correct ?

Ask a Doubt

Post your Physics Doubts here

Name (required)

Email (required)



Upload a file if required



  • Travelling back in time by increasing speed? https://t.co/zZC5LRLOe2
    about 2 days ago
%d bloggers like this: