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# centripetal acceleration, property of the motion of a body traversing a circular path.

Theacceleration is directed
radially toward the centre of the circle and has a magnitude equal to the square of the bodys speed along the curve divided by the distance from the centre of the circle to the moving body. The force causing this acceleration is directed also toward the centre of the circle and is named centripetal force. IMAGES Curves are an essential part of a roller coaster, and centripetal acceleration is part of moving in a circular path. Therefore, centripetal acceleration is also an essential part of a roller coaster.

Centripetal acceleration points toward the center of the circular path of the train, but is felt by passengers as a force pushing them to the outer edge of the circular path. This feeling is often described as centrifugal force, although there is no actual force pushing or pulling passengers away from the circle. The centrifugal force is actually your bodys inertia, or its resistance to the trains change in direction: your body wants to continue in a straight line and attempts to do so as the train turns. Luckily, your body is strapped into the roller coaster train, otherwise your body would continue in the straight path that the train was following before it entered the curve.

The equation for centripetal acceleration is: ar = v2 / r Where ar is centripetal acceleration, v is velocity in meters per second, and r is the radius of the circle in meters. This means that the higher the trains velocity, the greater the centripetal acceleration. This also means that the smaller the curve of the path being traveled, the greater the centripetal acceleration. Because of this, many high-speed roller coasters use banked turns rather than the flat ones that are safe for slower speeds. Banking the turns in a roller coaster gives you the feeling of being pushed into your seat rather than being thrown to the side of the car.

Centripetal Force
Any motion in a curved path represents accelerated motion, and requires a forcedirected toward the center of curvature of the path. This force is called the centripetal force which means "center seeking" force. The force has the agnitude

Swinging a mass on a string requires string tension, and the mass will travel off in a tangential straight line if the string breaks.The centripetal acceleration can be derived for the case of circular motion since the curved path at any point can be extended to a circle. Note that the centripetal force is proportional to the square of the velocity, implying that a doubling of speed will requirefour times the centripetal force to keep the motion in a circle. If the centripetal force must be provided by friction alone on a curve, an increase in speed could lead to an unexpected skid if friction is insufficient