## Normal Force on a Body in Vertical Circular Motion

# Forces in Vertical Circular Motion

This lesson explores the intriguing dynamics of vertical circular motion using a practical example of a student riding a Ferris wheel. By analyzing the forces acting on the student at various points on the wheel, particularly focusing on the normal force exerted by the seat, this lesson deepens understanding of how these forces influence sensations of weight.

#### Key Concepts Covered:

- Forces Acting in Circular Motion: Understand the interaction between the normal force and gravitational force as the student moves through different points of the Ferris wheel’s path.
- Sensations of Weight: Explore why the student feels lighter or heavier at different points on the ride, particularly the top and bottom of the Ferris wheel.

#### Problem Solving Approach:

- Force Analysis: We start by identifying and diagramming the forces acting on the student, specifically focusing on the normal force (Fₙ) and the gravitational force (weight W).
- Application of Newton's Second Law in Circular Motion: Apply Newton's second law to establish relationships between the forces when the Ferris wheel is at its highest and lowest points.
- Effects of Speed on Force: Examine how changes in the speed of the Ferris wheel impact the magnitude of the forces, utilizing the relationship between centripetal force and the square of velocity.

#### Practical Applications:

- Calculating Normal Forces: Calculate the normal force at the top and bottom of the ride under normal conditions and how it changes if the speed of the wheel is doubled.
- Critical Thinking in Physics: Encourage critical thinking about how theoretical physics applies to everyday experiences, enhancing conceptual clarity and engagement with the subject matter.

This lesson is structured to not only answer specific questions about how the student experiences changes in perceived weight, but also to provide a step-by-step guide on solving problems involving circular motion, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of physics in motion.

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