1D55.30 - Falling Off The Merry-Go-Round

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Falling Off The Merry-Go-Round
Angular Velocity, Linear Velocity vs. Radius
Area of Study:
Power supply, Pasco rotator or rotating air table, air table plate, objects to place at different radii.

To show different velocities depending on the distance from the center of the wheel, place an object at a large radius and find the rotation rate where the object slides off.  Keep the rotation rate the same and repeat the experiment with the object at a small radius.  The object will not slide off the plate until the rotation rate is significantly increased.  

  • Terrence Toepker, "Jumping Off a Merry-Go-Round", TPT, Vol. 60, #3, March 2022, p. 176.
  • Sarah Phan-Budd, "Finger Paint and Physics: A Simple Demonstration of Circular Motion and Conservation of Energy", TPT, Vol. 58, #1, Jan. 2020, p. 66.
  • Robert Ehrlich, "F.12, Pennies on a Rotating Turntable", Turn the World Inside Out, p. 78.
  • Borislaw Bilash II, Davi Maiullo, "Spin-Offs", A Demo a Day: A Year of Physics Demonstrations, p. 134.
  • Borislaw Bilash II, “Velocity and Momentum“, A Demo A Day – A Year of Physical Science Demonstrations, p. 248.

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