Vertical Circle Simulation

The Vertical Circle Simulation provides the learner with an interactive, variable-rich environment for exploring the motion of an object in a vertical circle. The simulation allows you to explore four different scenarios. The scenarios are:
  • A ball attached to a light rod and moving in a vertical circle.
  • A ball attached to a light string and moving in a vertical circle.
  • A ball moving along the wall of a vertical (and circular) loop.
  • A ball rolling down an incline as it enters a vertical (and circular) loop.
The simulation offers multiple displays and representations to enhance your learning.

Launch Interactive

Users are encouraged to open the Interactive and explore. For a more guided experience, The Physics Classroom has provided the following activity sheets:
Our Vertical Circle Simulation is now available with two Concept Checkers. Do the simulation. Then follow it up with a Concept Checker that coordinates with the student activity sheet:
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 Vertical 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 ( to learn more.