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Homework Help: A ride on a ferris wheel

  1. Jul 11, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A woman rides on a Ferris wheel of radius 16m that maintains the same speed throughout its motion. To better understand physics, she takes along a digital bathroom scale (with memory) and sits on it. When she gets off the ride, she uploads the scale readings to a computer and creates a graph of scale reading versus time. Note that the graph has a minimum value of 510 N and a maximum value of 666N. What is the woman's mass?

    2. Relevant equations
    a[tex]_{c}[/tex] = [tex]\frac{mv^{2}}{r}[/tex]

    and Newtons 2nd law

    3. The attempt at a solution

    So at the top we have gravity acting on her and the normal force of her seat acting on her which we will call Nt.

    so [tex]\frac{mv^{2}}{r}[/tex] = mg - Nt

    Then at the bottom, where Nb is the normal force of her seat acting on her

    [tex]\frac{mv^{2}}{r}[/tex] = Nb - mg

    Then solving these equations I got 2mg = Nt + Nb

    I really dont know if I am right about this...can someone please help me?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 11, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Hi clarineterr! :smile:
    Looks good to me! :biggrin:
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