Ferris Wheel

Topics: Kinematics, Circular motion, Ferris Wheel Pages: 9 (1661 words) Published: January 18, 2013


In this group project, we’ve decided to use a Ferris Wheel as an object to represent Uniform Circular Motion. A Ferris is a non-building structure consisting of a rotating upright wheel with passenger cars attached to the rim in such a way that as the wheel turns, the cars are kept upright, usually by gravity. Some of the largest and most modern Ferris wheels have cars mounted on the outside of the rim, and electric motors to independently rotate each car to keep it upright. These wheels are sometimes referred to as observation wheels, and their cars referred to as capsules, however these alternative names are also sometimes used for wheels with conventional gravity-oriented cars. The original Ferris Wheel was designed and constructed by George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. as a landmark for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The term Ferris wheel later came to be used generically for all such structures. Since the original 1893 Chicago Ferris Wheel, there have been eight subsequent world's tallest-ever Ferris wheels. The current record holder is the 165-metre (541 ft) Singapore Flyer, which opened to the public in March 2008. The Ferris wheel is an amusement park ride that is a lot like the carousel. It also resembles a bicycle wheel, with gears, as well as motors, running it.

Gears and motors pull the cars connected to a hinge of a Ferris wheel up into air and gravity pulls it down. By the force of gears, motors, and gravity; the car doesn't flip over and dump you out of the car. Gears can do a few things that make it useful for us to use. They can transfer energy from place to place, as well as make the power of something increase immensely by a power ratio/gear ratio. On the top of a Ferris wheel, you feel a force pushing you outward, centripetal force, due to inertia and Newton's first law. Which basically says that an object has a tendency to stay in the same motion it was traveling. But you don't experience a great acceleration on the top because your weight pushes toward the center of rotation, canceling some of the force pushing you outward. These forces canceling out are explained with Newton's third law: "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction".


This project aims to study and be able to simulate Uniform Circular Motion by means of graph that represents the motion between our chosen objects (which is Ferris Wheel) using pre-defined programming languages. The project should use numerical methods & formulas to come up with a certain data to be shown in the program.



We, the makers of the project, first discussed about what object will we use so that our project would be successful. Each of us suggested what method to use in Motion Simulation using Ferris Wheel as object/material. We’ve come up with the method of centripetal forceand uniform circular motion. We will be using this method in making our group project.

Uniform Circular Motion
An object is said to be moving in uniform circular motion when it maintains a constant speed while traveling in a circle. Remember that since acceleration is a vector quantity comprised of both magnitude and direction, objects can accelerate in any of these three ways:

1. constant direction, changing speed (linear acceleration); 2. constant speed, changing direction (centripetal acceleration); 3. change in both speed and direction (angular acceleration).

In this project, we will be investigating centripetal acceleration and uniform circular motion - that is, objects moving in circular paths at constant speeds.

While moving in a circular path, an object is constantly being pulled "towards the center" of the circle away from its tangential path. Envision a...
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