Saturday, April 24, 2010

The application of forces, or how to balance tohuwabohu

Have you ever been to a state fair? If you have then you must know this kind of entertainment ride. You sit at the end of a mechanical arm and it spins you around and around. Further, it moves up and down and if you are lucky, the seats are not directly fixed to the arm but able to spin around vertically and horizontally as well. My last state fair experience was placed right after the introduction of forces in physics class, so I thought about the forces involved in the ride, while spinning around in the air. The gravitational force that acts as soon as the seats leave the ground was easy to notice whenever the ride went up and down. The metal arm exerted the applied force that held us up in the air. Another force that I indirectly felt whenever we moved was the centripetal force, also exerted by the metal arm.
And whenever we moved up and down, slower or faster, it was because the forces were balanced in a different way. It was a very intriguing thought about the application of forces but not the right one, to think after having a lot of corned dogs and a very bumpy ride.
                                                       Forces in action

1 comment:

  1. Great picture but I am afraid that I will never go on that ride! Way too many forces for my liking:)
    Your physics essay is very good!
    Keep up your great work!