Question: A football player is moving southward. Suddenly, he turns eastward with the same speed to avoid an opponent. What is the force that acts on the player while turning?
- Southward force
- Eastward force
- Northward force
- Northeastward force
Answer: D. Northeastward force
Solution: When the football player turns eastward while moving southward, his direction of motion changes.
In this case, the center of curvature of the path of the football player is northeastward. Therefore, the centripetal force that acts on the player is also northeastward.
Imagine a football player sprinting down the field, their cleats pounding against the turf, their eyes fixed on the goal line. They’re moving southward, their body angled forward, their muscles burning with exertion. But as they reach the 50-yard line, something unexpected happens. An opposing player suddenly cuts in front of them, blocking their path. The football player has to react quickly.
A Sudden Change in Direction
- In a split second, the football player makes a decision. They plant their left foot and pivot sharply to the right, their body changing direction in a blur of motion. The crowd roars as the football player races towards the end zone, their speed increasing with every step.
The Impact of Force – A Football Player is Moving Southward
- The sudden change in direction requires a great deal of force. The football player’s muscles contract and relax rapidly, generating the power needed to turn their body. Their bones and joints also play a role, absorbing the shock of the impact and providing stability.
The Role of Friction – A Football Player is Moving Southward
- As the football player runs, their cleats dig into the turf, creating friction that helps them to maintain their balance and control. Without friction, they would slide uncontrollably, making it impossible to change direction or stop.
The Importance of Momentum
- Once the football player has turned, their momentum carries them forward. Momentum is a measure of an object’s mass and velocity, and it is what keeps the football player moving even after they have stopped applying force.
The Final Push – A Football Player is Moving Southward
- The football player reaches the end zone and extends their arms across the goal line. The referee signals a touchdown, and the crowd erupts in cheers. The football player has overcome the unexpected obstacle and reached their goal.
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