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Graviton amusement ride as generator?

  1. Jun 12, 2008 #1
    Hi, I was thinking about the graviton ride at amusement parks - the one that sort of simulates the feeling of gravity by spinning. I was wondering if the pressure between two objects (such as your head and the surface when spinning around) is potentially useful in terms of power generation, via piezoelectric principles?

    I'm not saying this would necessarily be a perpetual motion machine, but I am wondering how much power could be produced by a rotating ring by pressure compression... for purposes of this experiment, assume a ring 1 meter wide with a circumference of ~22 meters and a diameter of about 7 meters, with each "plate" of 1x1 meters being about 75 kg each (steel plates 1 cm thick).

    I'm also curious if anyone knows the flywheel properties of a toroid or disk in space - do these things ever slow down and stop, or is minimal power required to keep a hypothetical orbital satellite ring spinning? Would someone's walking around in such a ring slow it down?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 12, 2008 #2


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    Science Advisor

    How much energy would you have to use to spin the ring?

    In space, with no friction, it does not require any force or energy to keep a ring spinning once it is already spinning- rotational energy is conserved. Yes, a person walking, in the direction of spin, will slow the ring slightly, but not much. Presumably, in the long run, as many people will be walking one way as the other.
  4. Jun 12, 2008 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    A piezoelectric device creates a voltage when deformed, but as soon as you attach a load to it, the voltage goes away. In other words, it does not continuously generate energy, only while it is in the act of being deformed. This makes it good for damping oscillations, but beyond that, it can't generate any useable power.
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