Weightlessness on a Ferris Wheel

  • Thread starter Sumbhajee
  • Start date
  • #1
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Homework Statement


How many revolutions per minute would a 15.1 m diameter Ferris wheel need to make for the passengers to feel "weightless" at the topmost point of the trip?


Homework Equations





The Attempt at a Solution


I assume this problem has something to do with finding acceleration and converting from there. I have been having a lot of trouble with this problem.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
rl.bhat
Homework Helper
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What are the things you know about vertical circular motion?
 
  • #3
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I know that Centripetal acceleration = (velocity)^2/radius
 
  • #4
48
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If you're weightless at the top, what does that mean? Draw your free body diagram, then figure out which forces are acting where.
 
  • #5
rl.bhat
Homework Helper
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I know that Centripetal acceleration = (velocity)^2/radius
Can write this in terms of angular velocity?
What happens at the top of the wheel?
 
  • #6
15
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If you are weightless at the top you should have mass * gravity acting down and a centripetal force equal to gravity acting up. But how does this information help to discover revolutions per minute?
 
  • #7
15
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To set up the equation would I use the following:

9.80=V^2/7.55 and solve for velocity? But how do you convert velocity to revolutions per minute?
 
  • #8
15
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I found the answer! Thank you for all the help.
 

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