Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite

Edward F. Redish

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Round and round

Little Jay is enjoying his first ride on a merry-go-round. (He is riding a stationary horse rather than one that goes up and down.) A schematic view of the merry go-round as seen from above is shown in the drawing below the picture of the horse with a convenient coordinate system. A bit after the merry-go-round has started and is going around uniformly, we start our clock. Little Jay's position and velocity at time t = 0 is shown as a dot and arrow.

At t = 0 is the net force acting on Jay equal to zero?
If it is, give a reason why you think so.
If it isn't, specify the type of force and the object responsible for exerting it.

For the next 6 parts, specify which of the graphs below could represent the indicated variable for Jay's motion. If none of the graphs work, write N.
  1. The x component of Jay's velocity.
  2. The angle Jay's position makes with the x axis.
  3. The y component of the force keeping Jay moving in a circle.
  4. Jay's angular velocity.
  5. Jay's speed.
  6. The x component of Jay's position

Page last modified November 6, 2004: R01