Unkown Blogger Pursues a Deranged Quest for Normalcy

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In a twist

Posted by ubpdqn on May 6, 2011

In the Lawrence Hall of Science in the hills of University of California Berkeley, there is a section of models of roller coaster curves and loops. Children (and children at heart)  place orange spherical balls on tracks side by side  with differences in loop types and sizes, heights and curves and observe the differences in outcome for the different paths, e.g. the time of descent if two balls are started at same time on different tracks; whether ball completes the loop etc.

These physical models must be replicated in Science centres all over the planet.  They are fun. They provide immediate inspiration into concepts of kinetic and potential energy, motion along curves, centripetal acceleration.  One easily drifts from roller coasters to cars and banked curves  and to the celestial orbit of the planets, moons and artificial satellites.

I ponder central forces  and their capacity to deviate us from rectilinear motion in Seeking the centre and others to follow on  http://ubpdqnmathematica.wordpress.com/.


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