Irrelevancy of Mass When Rounding Frictionless Curves

We round a turn because centripetal force accelerates us toward the center of the turn, while we, obeying inertia, are thrown towards the outside of the turn, trying to move in a strait line. On level surfaces friction supplies the necessary force to accelerate us toward the center, but on embanked roads the normal force contributes to the centripetal force, lessening the necessary frictional force. In one special case the embankment alone provides the necessary force to accelerate the object towards the center, eliminating the need for friction all together. The angle of the embankment needed to round a curve without fiction is determined only by the speed of the object and the radius of the turn. It is independent of mass.

The team of Keisic/Pattison found, through their experimentation, the embankment necessary is also independent of size, density, and friction, although these characteristics determine the behavior of the object as it round these turns.

Research Done By:

Andrew Keisic

Nick Pattison
South Lake