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Analyzing Forces on Amusement Park Rides with Mobile Devices
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Mobile device accelerometers are a simple and easy way for students to collect accurate and detailed data on an amusement park ride. The resulting data can be graphed to assist in the creation of force diagrams to help students explain their physical sensations while on the ride. This type of activity can help students overcome some of the conceptual difficulties often associated with understanding centripetal force and typical “elevator-type problems” that are inherent in so many amusement park rides that move, lift, and drop riders. This article provides some sample data and examples from a visit to Six Flags Great America.
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