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Physics/Giant Wheel User Experiences.

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Question
Giant Wheel
Giant Wheel  

Circle
Circle  
Dear Expert

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_Wheel
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferris_wheel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNaLW8jLrzM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plKIn1Qg3Mk
http://www.giantwheels.info/

The Giant Wheel moves in one direction i.e. Anticlockwise direction. The End Users sitting in the Giant Wheel experiences
some feeling right at the top when coming down.

What will be the User experience if the Giant Wheel is moved in the
Other Direction i.e Clockwise Motion ?

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Answer
No matter what direction the wheel is moving, the rider on the wheel (while the wheel is moving) will always experience two forces:

1) The force of gravity, pulling the rider down. We experience this force at all times on the surface of our Earth, so most of the time we don't pay much attention to it. Indeed, we generally only think about it when, in our frame, we DON'T feel it exactly as we're used to doing so. For non-astronauts, this means in an accelerating frame.

2) The "force" (actually a pseudo-force) of being in a frame (the edge of the wheel) that is accelerating.  Because the frame itself is accelerating* inward, people within the frame will experience a pseudo-force outward. At the top of the wheel, this force will be in the direction opposite to gravity, thus making the rider feel lighter. At the bottom of the wheel, this force will be in the same direction as gravity, making the rider feel heavier.

It doesn't matter much whether the wheel is moving clockwise or counter-clockwise.


* Please note that "acceleration" does NOT mean only a change in the speed of an object. It can also mean a change in the DIRECTION of the velocity. At the top of the wheel, the rider is moving in one direction (let's say north) and, at the bottom, the rider is moving in the other direction (in this case, south). Although the SPEED of the rider has not changed, the DIRECTION has -- and this is, in physics, an acceleration.

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I can help with understanding physics that does not involve eggs. I will NOT help with academic or professional questions, which are NOT limited only to homework. Please do not waste your time by asking a question that comes out of ANY kind of academic, professional, or business matters.

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Have been fascinated by physical laws ever since I learned, at age seven, that magnets work under water. My study continued through college and has not ceased even after I retired.

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B.A. in Physics (with honors) from University of California at Berkeley.M.A. in Physics (with honors) from University of Texas Austin.

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