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Physics in Pendulum Ride

Kids Learning

Gathering some knowledge of science while you are on your best ride can be more interesting. If you will know the physics behind your favorite ride, you will enjoy the ride more and can impart your knowledge to your friends. Isn\’t it? Remember about the swings that you often enjoy riding in your home, park or lawn. Pendulum rides in amusement park are a little similar to the swings. Riders often experience near-weightlessness as they approach the top of a pendulum ride and if the ride makes a complete 360-degree circle, one can experience the feeling of complete weightlessness. It is because the rider feels the force of a seat (or other external object) pushing his body with a force to counteract gravity’s downward pull. Riders often experience high g- forces which are not evidence of increasing forces of gravitation, but the result of increases in the amount of force applied by the seat upon their bodies. The process is related to the centripetal force which indicates that at the bottom of the circular swing, there must be an upward force (since the circle’s center is upward). It is not the gravitational force but the seat that supplies the centripetal force, pushing upwards on the rider with a force greater than gravity’s downward pull and the rider experiences a seat force that is two times the gravity force.

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