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Ferris Wheel



A couple of summers ago, my family and I went to Hersey Park for vacation.  I'm afraid of heights but I love to go on roller coasters and I remember that there was a Ferris wheel that my sisters persuaded me to go on.  It was scary because you could see how high you were from the ground.  But it was also cool because you could see everything.  Anyways, a Ferris wheel can be related to physics because of its shape.  It is related to centripetal force and torque.  So basically, I could calculate the torque that a rider feels on the Ferris Wheel.  All I need is the radius, the mass, and the linear acceleration.  To find the linear acceleration, I would calculate the centripetal acceleration of the Ferris wheel.  So I would need the velocity and radius of the rider.  Then I could convert the centripetal acceleration to angular acceleration.  Then I would calculate the moment of inertia by doing mass times the radius squared.  Finally to find the torque I would do the moment of inertia times the angular acceleration. 

schematic of ferris wheel


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