Unit 1 - 1 You're riding on a playground swing You're...

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1. You're riding on a playground swing. You're traveling back and forth once every few seconds. a. At what point(s) in your motion is your velocity zero? (Peggy Ball=Purple) When you are on a playground swing, your velocity is at zero when you are farthest back and farthest forward, right before you begin traveling in the opposite direction. You come to a stop, much like a ball thrown up in the air stops before it begins travelling downward – this is in the lessons. (Melissa Dunton=Maroon) I agree, the swing has a velocity of zero at the two points the greatest distance from the equilibrium position. This animation could also be helpful in this answer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pendulum_animation.gif . I think that we should also discuss why the velocity is zero in regards to the acceleration vectors. (Adam Sauter=Blue) (Regina Bear=Green) I agree with Peggy. Good Job. b. At what point(s) in your motion is your gravitational potential energy at its maximum? (M.D.) The answer to this is the same as answer 1. The gravitational potential energy is at its maximum when the swing is the furthest distance from the ground because the mass and acceleration due to gravity of the swing remain constant. Using the equation: gravitational potential energy = mass x acceleration due to gravity x height It is clear that the gravitation potential energy will be the greatest at the two peaks of the swing. Furthermore, since energy is a conserved quantity, this additional energy must some from something else... which explains the need for either a push or movement from the swingers legs to swing. (A. S.) I feel the answer would be the same as number 1 because you are not moving and so your stored (potential) energy is at its maximum. You will be falling back to your original position do to this potential energy as it builds up in kinetic energy. (P.B) I believe you! I agree that the gravitational potential energy is at its maximum when you are farthest from the center. As stated in the text on page 32, the equation Melissa states above in common language means, ‘the higher it was, the harder it hit’.
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