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Related Rates: Ferris Wheel Program

  1. Jan 22, 2008 #1


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    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    You are riding a Ferris wheel 120 feet in diameter. It makes one complete revolution every minute. How fast are you falling when you are halfway to the bottom?

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution

    I really am not sure where to start. I'm actually not even completely sure what the question is asking...I'd think this would be a related rates problem, but the velocity is always constant. I tried setting up the parametric equations y=sin t and x=cos t and taking the derivatives of them...but that didn't really help. Also, when I'm half way to the bottom, the tangent to the Ferris wheel is vertical and I have the greatest velocity.... Any ideas?
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 22, 2008 #2


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    Homework Helper

    There's your starting point right there. How long is one trip around the Ferris wheel? Given how long it takes to happen, how fast are you traveling along this circular path? How does this answer the problem? (You could set up a related rates problem out of this, but it's really a lot of extra trouble...)
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