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### PHYSICS DAY

at Six Flags

Instruments

- Stopwatch
- Protractor/Sextant
- Measuring Tape
- Calculator
- Pencil
- Safety Cords
- Study Guide

Taking Measurements

Time

When measuring the period of a ride that involves harmonic or circular motion:

Measure the time for several repetitions of the motion

Divide by the number of oscillations

Taking Measurements

Distance

All distance measurements have to be done indirectly. There are several methods for accomplishing this.

Pacing

Determine the length of your stride by walking at your normal rate over a measured distance.

Divide the distance by the number of steps to get an average distance per step.

Taking Measurements

Distance

Ride Structure

Distance estimates can be made by noting regularities in the structure of the ride.

The distance d can be estimated by counting the number of cross members, if evenly spaced.

This method can be used for both vertical and horizontal distances.

Taking Measurements

Distance

Triangulation

Lay out a baseline with a length between 10 and 20 meters with measuring tape. (L)

Measure the height from the observer’s eye to the ground

Take a sighting at the highest point of the ride at either end of the baseline. (q1q2)

Calculate: H = (sin q1 X sin q2)L + observer’s height

sin (q1 – q2)

Taking Measurements

Lateral Acceleration

Take-off

Hold the sighting tube of the protractor/sextant horizontal and in the direction of take-off, the weight swings to one side.

By measuring the angle, acceleration can be determined: a = g tanq

Taking Measurements

Lateral Acceleration

Rounding Curves

Hold the sighting tube of the protractor/sextant horizontal and facing you, the weight swings to one side.

By measuring the angle, acceleration can be determined: a = g tanq

Taking Measurements

Velocity

Usually, speed is calculated by measuring the distance traveled in a certain amount of time.

However, if you know the length of the train, you can determine the time it takes for the train to pass a selected point on the track and then calculate speed:

v = length of train

time to pass a fixed point

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