FACULTY OF EDUCATION Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy
FACULTY OF EDUCATION Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy Physics Circular Motion Science and Mathematics Education Research Group Supported by UBC Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund 2012-2013 Superhero Physics Question Title r v The Scenario Question Title A superhero is designing a new rope-like gadget that will allow him to swing from building to building. The gadget is designed so
that the rope is just strong enough to hold the superheros weight when he hangs on it (without swinging). The superhero decides that the gadget is safe and tries swinging on the rope. Is the superhero able to swing safely across? The test: The design: r Superhero v FT, max Superhero Fg Side view Superhero Physics I Question Title Consider the superhero when he is hanging onto the rope at rest. Which of the following is the correct free-body diagram
of the superhero? FT = tension force Fg = gravitational force A. r B. Fg Superhero Side view FT FT C. Fg D.
FT FT Fg E. Fg Solution Comments Answers: B FT, max Superhero Fg Justification: The superhero is not moving or accelerating so there must be no net force. There are only 2 forces acting on the superhero, the force of gravity from the earth pulling him down and the tension from the rope holding him up. These two forces must be equal in magnitude. Additionally, the rope designed by the superhero is only strong enough to hold a force of mg. Any tension force larger than this will break the rope.
Superhero Physics II Question Title Consider the superhero at the lowest point of the swing. Assume the rope is r meters long and the superhero is moving at speed v. What is the direction of the net force on the superhero at this moment? A. No net force F B. F C. r D. Side view v E.
F F Superhero Physics III Question Title Which of the following is the correct free-body diagram of the superhero? FT = tension force Fg = gravitational force r FC = centripetal force Side view A. FT Fg B. v
FT Fg C. FT FC Fg D. FT FC Fg E. FT Fg FC Solution Comments
Answers: II) D, III) A Justification: In order for the superhero to move in a circle, there must be a net force pointing towards the center of the circle. There are only 2 forces acting on the superhero, the force of gravity pulling him down and the tension force holding him up. The tension force supplies the extra force required to move in a circle, thus the tension force must be greater than the gravitational force. FT Fg FT Fg FC Fnet = FC mv 2 FT mg r Superhero Physics IV Question Title A superhero is designing a new rope-like gadget that will allow him to swing from building to building. The gadget is designed so that the rope is just strong enough to hold the superheros weight
when he hangs on it. The superhero decides that the gadget is safe and tries swinging on the rope. Is the superhero able to swing safely across? The test: The design: Superhero v FT, max Superhero Fg Side view r A. The superhero swings safely across B. The rope breaks during the swing C. Cannot be determined Solution
Comments Answers: B Justification: The tension force on the rope must be less than or equal to mg otherwise the rope will break. The rope is guaranteed to break at the lowest point in the swing. As discovered in the previous question, the tension force must be greater than mg in order to move the superhero in a circle. FT Fg FT Fg FC Fnet = FC mv 2 FT mg mg r
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