Featured in PASCO’s Advanced Physics Teacher Guide

Advanced Physics Teacher Guide


This manual features over 30 College Board curriculum and AP Physics exam inspired lab activities.

Circular Motion

Lab Summary

Use a force sensor to examine the relationship between force and speed for an object in circular motion.


You will be given material to investigate the dynamics of uniform circular motion. By holding the radius and spinning mass constant throughout the experiment, the relationship between force and speed can be examined.
Conduct an experiment to:

  • Derive a relationship between the force and velocity of a mass in uniform circular motion.


Students gain experience conducting the following procedures:

  • Spinning the rubber stopper in a horizontal circle with a constant radius, a constant mass, and a constant velocity.
  • Graphing the Force versus Time for several revolutions.
  • Measuring the average force for those revolutions.
  • Measuring the velocity for those revolutions.
  • Creating a graph of Force versus Velocity.
  • Creating a new "linearized" graph by plotting Force versus Velocity2.

Sensors / Equipment Used:

PASPORT Force Sensor


Designed to measure both pulling and pushing forces. Uses range from collisions to tug-of-war.

Discover Centripetal Force Kit


The kit allows students to feel the change in centripetal force as key variables are manipulated.

Pulley Mounting Rod


14 cm long and 9.5 mm diameter mounting rod fits most lab clamps and is threaded to screw into the Super Pulley.

Universal Table Clamp


Attach to tables, shelves, or ring stands. Also use it as a versatile rod stand.

Materials Used:

Durable String - 1.5 m
Hollow Tube
Meter Stick 
Permanent marker 
Plastic Tie
Rubber Stopper with Hole, Size 10

The Associated Bundle:

Advanced Physics Standard Sensor Bundle


This bundle contains the probeware needed to perform all 37 lab activities in the Advanced Physics lab manual.

Interface Required

This experiment may require software and an interface for data collection.