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Magnitude of the normal force

A student of weight 656 N rides a steadily rotating Ferris wheel (the student sits upright). At the highest point, the magnitude of the normal force N on the student from the seat is 551 N.

a.What is the magnitude of N at the lowest point?

b.What is the magnitude of N if the wheel's speed is doubled?

Solution Preview

When the student is at the highest point he feels lighter. This makes sense, right? Have you been on a ferris wheel or an elevator? If so, then you know this makes sense. It is good to think about these kinds of things before answering a question.

So instead of feeling the normal force of 656 N, pushing against him, by the seat (by Newton's 3rd law), he feels only 551 N. We know the only force that can be causing this is the centrifugal force due to ...

Solution Summary

Solution explains the forces contributing to the normal force.