# Circular Motion Problem Solving

And when a rope pulls, we call that the force of tension, so I'm gonna call this the tension. Now we know what kind of force is acting as the centripetal force. Sometimes, people want to do this, they're like, oh yeah, there's a force of tension, and there's also a centripetal force.

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And then you use Newton's second law for one of the directions at a time.

And if the direction you chose to analyze Newton's second law for didn't get you to where you needed to be, just do it again.

I mean, yeah, we knew it had to be an upward force, but that really doesn't tell us what force it is.

Similarly, just saying the centripetal force just tells us what direction the force points.

But when we view it from above, you see this path traced out. Now, a lot of people want to answer that question with the centripetal force.

So this is a bird's eye view that you would see if you were looking down from above the table, and this would be the side view. They'd say that it's the centripetal force that points inward that causes this ball to go in a circle, and that's not wrong.

- [Instructor] There are unfortunately quite a few common misconceptions that many people have when they deal with centripetal force problems, so in this video, we're gonna go over some examples to give you some problem solving strategies that you can use as well as going over a lot of the common misconceptions that people have when they deal with these centripetal motion problems.

So, to start with, imagine this example, let's say a string is causing a ball to rotate in a circle.

So saying the force that causes this ball to go in a circle is the centripetal force is a little unsatisfying.

It'd be like answering the question, what force balances the force of gravity while the ball's on the table with the answer, the upward force.

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