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Homework Help: Tangential speed?

  1. Oct 4, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I cant seem to find an equation in my book for tangential speed, but the question states. What is the tangential speed of a passenger on a Ferris wheel that has a radius of 10m and rotates once in 30 seconds? Any help would awesome.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 4, 2007 #2


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    Homework Helper

    When using polar coordinates, there are two velocities... tangential velocity and radial velocity...

    The tangential velocity is perpendicular to the radius from the origin to the point of interest...

    So in this case the radius from the center of the Ferris wheel to the passenger... the tangential velocity is perpendicular to that in the direction of rotation...

    So in this case the only speed is the tangential speed... there is no radial speed here... in other words the passenger goes in a circular path... the radius is fixed...

    If the Ferris wheel was expanding getting a larger radius while rotating... then there'd be a radial speed to consider...

    Just use distance/time to get the tangential speed...
  4. Oct 4, 2007 #3
    awesome, i guess i was over thinking it
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