A piece of stone attached to one end of a string is whirled round in a horizontal circle and the string suddenly cuts. The stone will fly off in a direction

A piece of stone attached to one end of a string is whirled round in a horizontal circle and the string suddenly cuts. The stone will fly off in a direction

Answer Details

When an object moves in a circle, it is constantly changing its direction. This means it is constantly accelerating, even if its speed is constant. This acceleration is directed towards the center of the circle and is called the centripetal acceleration. The centripetal force, which is the force required to keep an object moving in a circle, is also directed towards the center of the circle.
When the string holding the stone is suddenly cut, the centripetal force that was keeping it in circular motion is removed. The stone will now continue in a straight line in accordance with Newton's first law of motion, which states that an object in motion will remain in motion in a straight line at a constant speed, unless acted upon by an external force.
Since the stone is no longer being acted upon by the centripetal force, it will fly off in a direction that is tangent to the circular path. Therefore, the correct option is "tangential to the circular path".