Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
    30
  • comments
    13
  • views
    14,889

The Physics of Those Playground Spinny Things (plus FAIL VIDEOS!)

bazinga818

1,293 views

Yay for more circular motion! So does anyone know what I'm talking about when I say "playground spinny things"? There like mini merry go rounds for playgrounds, but like...without the animals and cheesy music. Someone goes on them and you spin them really fast? There are funny fail videos on the internet of people spinning super fast on them and then flying off? Sound familiar?

I hope so, because I really don't know what they're called. But anyway, I thought I'd talk about the physics behind them for a bit.

So when you spin on these spinny things, you feel a centripetal force (Fc) and centripetal acceleration (ac) point towards the center of the circle. The centripetal force, Fc, is equal to mv2/r, and remembering Newton's 2nd Law (F=ma), we can then deduce that ac = v2/r.

If, like the people in those fail videos, you were to spin so fast that you flew off the spinny things - you would fly off in a path tangent to the circle. This is because your velocity acts tangently to the circle.

There's something I don't quite get about this, though. When you spin, you feel like you're being pulled outward away from the center of the circle...if Fc is pointed toward the center of the circle, why do you feel a force outward instead? Maybe I'm just thinking about it wrong, but either way it'd be great if someone could explain that to me.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed a snippet of the physics behind those playground spinny things I still don't know the name of.

Until next time,

bazinga818 :ass:

EDIT: I guess they're actually called merry-go-rounds too? Weird. Anyway, I found a nice fail-compilation video for you to enjoy below. For some reason people seem to think it's a super awesome and profoundly intelligent idea to take a motorcycle wheel to these things...makes for a good video anyway! Yay circular motion! :lol:

My favorite is probably the one at 1:23...that kid just goes downnnn, man. Like come on it wasn't even going that fast. What a pansy.

And I really realllllly want to try the one at 1:51, minus the faceplant part.

I also thoroughly enjoy the duck one.



1 Comment


Recommended Comments

Guest
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Terms of Use

The pages of APlusPhysics.com, Physics in Action podcasts, and other online media at this site are made available as a service to physics students, instructors, and others. Their use is encouraged and is free of charge. Teachers who wish to use materials either in a classroom demonstration format or as part of an interactive activity/lesson are granted permission (and encouraged) to do so. Linking to information on this site is allowed and encouraged, but content from APlusPhysics may not be made available elsewhere on the Internet without the author's written permission.

Copyright Notice

APlusPhysics.com, Silly Beagle Productions and Physics In Action materials are copyright protected and the author restricts their use to online usage through a live internet connection. Any downloading of files to other storage devices (hard drives, web servers, school servers, CDs, etc.) with the exception of Physics In Action podcast episodes is prohibited. The use of images, text and animations in other projects (including non-profit endeavors) is also prohibited. Requests for permission to use such material on other projects may be submitted in writing to info@aplusphysics.com. Licensing of the content of APlusPhysics.com for other uses may be considered in the future.

×
×
  • Create New...