Sunday, September 16, 2007

Wait, hold on... cue the elevator music

Hey everyone, Happy weekend! If physics were an elevator... it'd be 88 floors in reach and some little kid just pushed every button. Good thing I have my laptop though! I can thankfully still access my physics book.
So elevators. Something as mudane and as simple as an elevator still has so many physical principles. That's something I appreciate about Physics; it, more than the other sciences is right there in front of your eyes.
Now I'll never ride an elevator the same way again. So there are essentially three situations when one is in an elevator: zero acceleration (when speed is constant or the elevator car is at rest), upward acceleration, and downward acceleration. At zero acceleration the opposing forces (Fnormal and Fgravity) balance each other out and the rider (me I suppose) feels no change in my weight.
During upward acceleration however, the normal force is greater the force of gravity (which doesn't change) and one feels heavier. The opposite is true for downward acceleration when the normal force is less than gravity and one feels lighter. The same principle using the equation from Newton's second law applies to other "weightless" situations like roller coasters.
Which brings me to why there isn't a theme park here in Hawaii? Every physics student would have to go on it!
Now I got to do better on quizzes! Short term Sean goal! Physics FTW! Kikaida!

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