# Estimating Work on the Ferris Wheel: George Washington Gale Ferris Jr.

• jonlevi68
In summary, the problem presented involves a Ferris wheel built by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. with 36 wooden cars carrying up to 60 passengers each. The wheel rotated at constant angular speed in 2 minutes with an estimated diameter of 76m. The question asks for the amount of work required to rotate the passengers alone, but attempts using the formulas W = (1/2)(I)(wf^2 - wi^2) and W = t(thetaf - thetai) both result in zero. The poster is unsure if this is the correct answer, and questions if the wheel's constant angular speed and full rotation mean that no work is required. Another poster suggests focusing on the loading process rather than the ride
jonlevi68
I've been thinking about this problem for the last half hour, but can't seem to come up with a way of finding a solution. Maybe some of you can help.

"George Washington Gale Ferris. Jr., a civil engineering graduate from RPI, built the original Ferris wheel. The wheel carried 36 wooden cars, each holding up to 60 passengers, around a circle 76m in diameter. The cars were loaded 6 at a time, and once all 36 cars were full, the wheel made a complete rotation at constant angular speed in about 2 min. Estimate the amount fo work that was required of the machinery to rotate the passengers alone."

I approached this problems through two methods:

1) W = (1/2)(I)(wf^2 - wi^2), where I is the inertia, wf is the final angular velocity and wi is the initial angular velocity, and

2) W = t(thetaf - thetai), where t is the torque, thetaf is the final angle and thetai is the initial angle.

But both attempts give me zero (which, for some reason, doesn't seem liek the right answer). If the ferris wheel is traveling at a constant angular speed, then shouldn't wi = wf, and therefore W = 0? And, if it completes a revolution, shouldn't thetaf = thetai and, also, W = 0?

Thanks for any help.

Did you post this problem twice? I just replied to the same problem somewhere else.

This is probably where it belongs

I think you need to focus on the loading process. Once the wheel is loaded it should be finished working. The 2 min ride is work free.

Last edited:

I can understand your confusion and attempts to solve this problem. However, in this case, both of your approaches are not applicable to finding the work required for the Ferris wheel to rotate the passengers. Let me explain why.

The first method you used, W = (1/2)(I)(wf^2 - wi^2), is used to calculate the rotational kinetic energy of an object. In this case, the Ferris wheel is not a single rotating object, but rather a system of many interconnected parts (such as the cars, the wheel itself, and the machinery). Therefore, this formula cannot be used to accurately estimate the work required for the wheel to rotate the passengers.

The second method you used, W = t(thetaf - thetai), is used to calculate the work done by a torque on an object. While this formula is more applicable to the Ferris wheel, it still cannot be used in this case. This is because the Ferris wheel is not being rotated by a single torque, but rather by multiple torques acting on different parts of the system. Additionally, the angle of rotation (theta) is not constant, as the wheel is constantly rotating and not stopping at a specific angle.

To accurately estimate the work required for the Ferris wheel to rotate the passengers, we would need more information about the specific design and mechanics of the wheel. This would include factors such as the weight of the cars, the friction of the wheel, and the power of the machinery. Without this information, it is not possible to provide an accurate estimation of the work required.

In conclusion, while your attempts to solve this problem are appreciated, they are not applicable in this case. As a scientist, it is important to have all the necessary information and use the appropriate formulas and methods to solve a problem. In this case, we would need more information to accurately estimate the work required for the Ferris wheel to rotate the passengers.

## What is the purpose of estimating work on the Ferris Wheel?

The purpose of estimating work on the Ferris Wheel is to determine the amount of time, resources, and effort needed to complete the construction of the Ferris Wheel. This involves breaking down the project into smaller tasks and assigning a timeframe for each task, as well as estimating the cost and materials required.

## Who is George Washington Gale Ferris Jr.?

George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. was an American engineer and inventor who is best known for creating the Ferris Wheel. He was born on February 14, 1859, in Galesburg, Illinois, and graduated from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a degree in civil engineering. He designed and built the Ferris Wheel for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, which was a major engineering feat at the time.

## What factors are considered when estimating work on the Ferris Wheel?

When estimating work on the Ferris Wheel, factors such as the size and design of the wheel, the location and terrain of the construction site, the availability of materials and labor, and any potential challenges or setbacks that may arise during the construction process are taken into consideration. Weather conditions and safety precautions must also be factored in when estimating the timeline and cost of the project.

## How accurate are the estimates for the construction of the Ferris Wheel?

The accuracy of estimates for the construction of the Ferris Wheel will vary depending on the level of detail and research put into the estimation process. Factors such as unexpected delays or changes in design may also impact the accuracy of the estimates. However, with careful planning and regular updates to the estimates, a fairly accurate timeline and cost can be determined for the construction of the Ferris Wheel.

## What are the potential challenges in estimating work on the Ferris Wheel?

Some potential challenges in estimating work on the Ferris Wheel include accurately predicting the availability of materials and labor, unforeseen construction delays or obstacles, and changes in design or project scope. It is important for the estimator to thoroughly research and consider all potential challenges in order to create a realistic and accurate estimate for the project.

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