The Physics Of Carousel

Topics: Rotation, Force, Circular motion Pages: 9 (987 words) Published: May 10, 2015
The Physics of Carousel
A Research Paper

Presented to
International program-physics
Global Prestasi School

In partial fullfilment
of the Requirements for the IGCSE-Physics
preparatory class
by
Nandira Kirana Thaib
January 2013
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page

What is a carousel?....................................................................................................... 2 History…………………………………………………………………………………………. 3 The Physics of Carousel……………………………………………………………………. 4 Bibliography………………………………………………………………………………….. 6

What is a carousel?
A carousel, or merry-go-round, is an amusement ride consisting of a rotating circular platform with seats for riders. The "seats" are traditionally in the form of rows of wooden horses or other animals mounted on posts, many of which are moved up and down by gearwork to simulate galloping to the accompaniment of looped circus music. Carousels are commonly populated with horses, each horse weighing roughly 100 lbs (45 kg), but may include diverse varieties of mounts, like pigs, zebras, tigers, or mythological creatures such as dragons or unicorns. Sometimes, chairlike or benchlike seats are used as well, and occasionally mounts can be shaped like airplanes or cars. History

The carousel is based on a game called “carosella” that was played by Turkish and Arabian soldiers in the 1100s. The game involved soldiers on horseback, riding around in circles, charging each other and throwing clay balls filled with perfume at each other. If you caught the ball, you threw it at someone else. If you got hit, you were out of the game. Spanish and Italian crusaders saw the game the Turks and Arabs played, and they took it with them back to Europe. The game evolved into one in which riders attempted to spear tiny brass rings stationed on the outside of a circular carousel area. This is where the well-known tradition of grabbing the brass ring came from. By the 1680s, the original version of the game faded. In the game’s replica, or carousel, the horses were artificial and attached to a wheel for young children of noble birth to enjoy. The carousels were human or animal powered. Since carosella had been a game of soldiers and aristocracy, the artificial horses of the carousel were decorated in the finest styles like true military horses. Carvers of carousel horses became well-paid craftsmen of the French court, and the pageantry spread across Europe. By the 1800s, carousels had arrived in America. The tradition of grabbing the brass ring that started in Europe became popular in America, and today some of the older carousels in the northeastern U.S. still have brass rings. By the early 1900s, carousels were mechanized, and manpower was no longer needed.

The Physics of Carousel
When people find themselves walking through an amusement park it is hard not to spot the physics that surrounds them. A few good examples of the physics in an amusement park can be found in some of the rides like the carousel, the bumper cars, and the swinging ship. People ride each of these amusement park classics everyday without thinking of the physics involved. The carousel is an excellent example of physics principles at work. Rotational motion, torque, lever arm, centripetal force, and gear ratios are some of the examples of physical principles associated with carousels. The physics that a carousel demonstrates is centripetal force. Centripetal means "center-seeking" and is the force that is acting on the carousel. It is the force that is directed to the center of the path, in this case the center of the carousel. The platform upon which the horses and people are riding is the centripetal force that keeps them traveling in a circular motion just as the string was the centripetal force for the ball. As long as the ride is moving slowly enough, the centripetal force of the platform can keep everyone and everything on board. In theory, if the carousel starts...

Bibliography: 1. http://wiki.croomphysics.com/index.php?title=The_Physics_in_an_Amusement_Park
2. http://www.learner.org/interactives/parkphysics/carousel.html
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carousel
4. http://physicsof.net/amusementparks/carousel.htm
5. http://www.hometrainingtools.com/amusement-park-physics/a/1411/
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