1Q40.23-Centrifugal Governor


Video: Watch this demo

Instructor’s video

Description: This demonstration illustrates the apparent centrifugal force.
Can be used to describe the equatorial bulge of planets or the shape of galaxies.


  • Centrifugal Governor

Setup Procedure:

  1. Set the knob to 0 and plug the apparatus in.

Demonstration Procedure:

  1. Note the shape of the two metal rings. Push on the top a little to show they are free to move down.
  2. Start the motor and set it to a very slow speed. Note that the shape is still the same.
  3. Turn up the motor a little and note the shape becomes compressed vertically and bulges out to the side. This machine spins very fast, so you won’t have to turn the motor up much (never exceed 1/2 speed).
  4. Explain that this is the apparent centrifugal force (although it’s not truely a force). This explains why the earth and other planets have a slight bulge around the part that rotates fastest.
  5. When finished, turn off the motor and note the shape returns back to normal.
hand danger Finger Hazard:
This machine spins very fast and is made of metal.
Keep fingers away when this machine is on.

Note: This is a very powerful motor. The knob does not need to be turned much for it to spin fast (never exceed 1/2 speed).