1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Analyzing Trapeze Movement

  1. Nov 17, 2013 #1
    Essentially, we are writing a report on the movement of a trapeze but I am very stuck. My main questions are:
    why do trapeze slow down?
    What effect does gravity have on the trapeze?
    My personal research question is what were to happen if the trapeze were on the moon rather than earth, would it still work?

    Here is what i know so far:

    Clearly, while standing on the board, I had 100% PE (mgh)
    Then at the bottom of the swing, when I was closest to the ground, I had 100% KE (1/2 mgv^2)
    Also, I know that centripetal force= mv^2/r

    Right now, I think that you lose energy while on the flying trapeze due to air resistance "taking" that energy from you. However, to determine what would happen on the moon, I need to understand what happens on earth. Drawing free body diagrams, I believe that the trapeze motion stopping has something to do with the vertical component of Centripetal force (or the slanted component of gravity).

    I am sorry if this does not meet the regulations, I honestly tried to do so, but I am quite stuck. Either way, thanks for the help and taking the time to read through my questions
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 17, 2013 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Even without an atmosphere there would still be some internal friction in the rope, wire, or chain supporting the trapeze and at the pivot point, but the energy lost (converted to heat) would be small.
  4. Nov 17, 2013 #3
    Thanks for the response. What else slows the trapeze then? What makes the trapeze stop (on each swing)---gravity?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted