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Homework Help: Ferris Wheel & Ice Cream (circular and projectile motion?)

  1. Oct 11, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A Ferris wheel with radius R turns with a constant angular velocity [tex]\omega[/tex]. A child rides the Ferris wheel with a fresh ice cream cone. When the child reaches an angular position [tex]\vartheta[/tex]s [see diagram below], she is so distracted that she tips the cone and drops the nice big blob of ice cream (with sprinkles!) from the top of the cone. Since her arm is hanging over the side, the ice cream falls away. Upon discovering the loss of her ice cream, she begins to cry.

    But luck is with this little girl. Just as the little girl reaches the point on the circle exactly opposite to the point where she lost the ice cream, the blob of ice-cream comes sailing right back into the ice cream cone. Now, it’s true that ice cream cone was totally destroyed by the impact. But the whole experience was so weird that the little girl became convinced that she was the luckiest little girl in the whole world.

    a) Find the (numerical value) of the angle [tex]\vartheta[/tex]s.
    b) Find the centripetal acceleration of the little girl while she was on the Ferris wheel. Express your answer as a numeric multiple of g.
    c) Find an expression for the relative speed between the ice cream cone and the ice cream blob as the blob hits the cone.

    2. Relevant equations
    I have no idea?

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I'm actually completely confused. I know this is a combination problem of circular and projectile motion, but I'm not sure how to combine them.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 14, 2009 #2


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    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Hi Flavoric3, welcome to PF!:smile:

    Would you mind posting the diagram so that we can visualize the problem properly?
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