Horizontal Circle Simulation

The Horizontal Circle Simulation provides the learner with an interactive, variable-rich environment for exploring the motion of an object in a horizontal circle. Three instances of such a motion are simulated - the motion of a ball on a string, the motion of a car on a banked turn (without the need for friction), and the motion of an airplane. In all three instances, acceleration vectors, net force vectors, and individual force vectors can be displayed. A numerical output of strategic quantities is viewable. And a wide range of motion parameters (mass, radius, speed, and angle information) can be modified and their effect on other quantities is easily observed.

Launch Interactive

Users are encouraged to open the Interactive and explore. Or if desired, The Physics Classroom has prepared an activity for a more directed experience. The activity was designed with the intent of being used by classroom teachers with their classes.
Our Horizontal Circle Simulation is now available with a Concept Checker. Do the simulation. Then follow it up with the Concept Checker.

Learners and Instructors may also be interested in viewing the accompanying Notes page. Technical information, teaching suggestions, and related resources that complement this Interactive are provided on the Notes page. View Notes.

We owe a special thanks to Physics teacher Martin Kirby for donating the Horizontal Circle Simulation to our Interactives collection. If you like this sim, you can tap on the Donate button and buy him a cup of coffee (or a pot of coffee); he'd appreciate it. Martin has contributed many other simulations to our Interactives collection. You can view them all by visiting our page listing all Martin Kirby Simulations. Or visit Martin's website (kirbyx.com) to learn more.