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Homework Help: Vertical Circular Motion

  1. Oct 13, 2004 #1
    I have a ferris wheel problem with four parts. I have completed the first three. Acceleration, Centripetal force on top and on bottom. However, I am having a hard time to come up with a FBD for a cart which is halfway up. I got a normal force towards the top, and gravity towards the bottom. So how do they add up to be a centripetal force to the side (center of ferris wheel)?

    I supposed to find the magnitude and direction of the Centripetal force.

    Any suggestions or may be a web site with a FBD?

    Thanks in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2004 #2

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    Since the cart is attached to the wheel, not just sitting on it, I would not call the force the wheel exerts on the cart a "normal" force. The free body diagram should be easy: there are just two forces on the cart (1) gravity, acting down, and (2) the force of the wheel on the cart. That last force acts at some angle, not just up or just sideways.

    Do you know the mass and the acceleration? Use Newton's 2nd law.
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