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Physics at the Park


Cvankerkhove

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Everyone loves going to the amusement park; a local favorite is seabreeze. When we are little, we enjoy the ride, and have a good time. However, as I have grown more and more into my physics career, going to the amusement park is not quite that simple for there is physics all around the park. In fact, if it weren't for human accomplishments in physics, there would be no park! 

       The first ride I thought about this was the musical express. On this ride, people sit in carts on a circle and the entire ride rotates over and over again, until the ride is going a very fast velocity. One of the warnings of the ride is for smaller passengers to sit on the inside. Why is this? Cause the smaller passenger would get squashed! There is a centripetal force with this ride, based on the equation a=v^2/r. The ride gets to a point so fast that the friction of the seat is overcome and th people squish together!

    Secondly the Jack Rabbit is a classic example of conservation of energy (kinda). Based on the conservation of energy, when the ride is at its highest point, the potential energy will be converted into kinetic energy, and therefore the ride cannot reach a higher point without being acted on by an outside force. Unfortunately the world is imperfect and there are outside forces, like friction! The Jackrabbit has three humps, and each hump is lower than the prior, this is because friction steals energy, and therefore it cannot reach a higher point. All in all, physics makes our lives a little bit more complicated because we can no longer enjoy the ride without thinking.

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I hate that centripetal force like Aj was saying but for me being a smaller guy, on the outside of the musical express, I have to fight so that i don't get crushed completely!!  

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