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I am a Physics 1 student and I have a few questions that I don't understand.
1. When an object is spun in a circle horizontally, what keeps it from falling down? Doesn't it have the Force of gravity acting on it, but how does it remain up?
2. When I hold  a string with something attached to it and then yank it very hard, how does the force get converted upwards and pull that object up?
3. Acceleration is m/s^2 right? Then why is it when you use d=1/2(a)t^2 the acceleration becomes 2m/s^2????

Hello Philip,

1.  Yes it does have gravity acting on it. Take a look at this wikipedia page.
Go to the Properties section. That will explain how a gyroscope stays upright. It also explains how a toy spinning top stays upright.

2. What direction are you jerking it? If you jerk upwards, that might explain why the "something" is pulled up.

3. Acceleration is in units of m/s^2, yes. The magnitude of a depends on what values you plug in for d and t. If d = 1 m and t = 1 s, when you solve for a, it will be 2 m/s^2.

I hope this helps,


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Steve Johnson


I would be delighted to help with questions up through the first year of college Physics. Particularly Electricity, Electronics and Newtonian Mechanics (motion, acceleration etc.). I decline questions on relativity and Atomic Physics. I also could discuss the Space Shuttle and space flight in general.


I have a BS in Physics and an MS in Electrical Engineering. I am retired now. My professional career was in Electrical Engineering with considerable time spent working with accelerometers, gyroscopes and flight dynamics (Physics related topics) while working on the Space Shuttle. I gave formal classroom lessons to technical co-workers periodically over a several year period.

BS Physics, North Dakota State University
MS Electrical Engineering, North Dakota State University

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