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Homework Help: Electrical ski lifts are analogous to batteries and resistors, sketch

  1. Mar 16, 2009 #1
    . The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A ski resort consists of a few chair lifts and several interconnected runs on the side of the mountain with a lodge at the bottem. The lifts are analogous to the batteries and the runs are analogous to resistors.
    a) sketch how two runs can be in series
    b) sketch how two runs can be in parallel
    c) sketch a junction of one lift and two runs.
    d) State Kirchoff's junction rule and Kirchoff's loop rule for the ski resort.

    2. Relevant equations
    What is meant by analogous to the batteries and the runs are analogous to resistors?

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I am confused about the overall question.
    Would someone be able to explain the question more and what is required to answer each point.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 19, 2009 #2
    Start by thinking of the lift as the source... pumping the people (electrons) up to the top so they can ski back down to the bottom creating a circuit. It's kind of a silly metaphor but oh well.
  4. Mar 19, 2009 #3
    I actually like to use electrical analogues. They are pretty hokey and most people hate them, but they make sense to me. So, draw a sketch of a hill with a ski lift and two ski runs that are in series (what does series mean to you?). Then using a big red marker, overwrite the lift to make it a battery. Overwrite the runs to make them resistors. Now, anyplace that a skier might walk (or slowly glide) draw as a wire. Do you see a circuit? What exactly is the "current" (or the "charge", you can pick which way you want to see it) in this circuit? You might take a imaginary skier up the lift, down the runs, back up the lift, down, and so on to see how you might have a closed circuit. Get a whiteboard and colored markers and play. Finally make a little analog chart: battery = ski lift; voltage = height of ski lift; capacitor = pretty snow bunny in bar (oops, forget that-get back to work!), and so on.
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