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Playground follies.

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The Roundabout

When you are on a roundabout it exerts a centrifugal force on you. This means when the roundabout turns the force is acting outwards from the centre of rotation being the axle, which pushes outwards from the center, trying to push you off the roundabout.

The speed you move on a roundabout depends on the distance you are from the centre. If you are on the edge, compared to being near the centre, you move a lot further in one rotation and

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Swings work in the same way a pendulum works. At one end there is a mass being held up by something like a rope, string or wire but in this case chains. The mass is you sitting on the seat. You push yourself forward and backward to gain momentum and then start swinging. At the peak of your swing where you stop and fall in the opposite direction, you have full Potential Energy and no Kinetic Energy. In the middle of your swing you have full Kinetic Energy and Potential Energy. In between the peak and the middle of your swing you have half of both Kinetic Energy and Potential Energy (see diagram below).




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This continues until the two people involved stop using the seesaw.



In a rocking horse, the spring stores Elastic Potential Energy in the way that when you pull back on the handlebars, you are stretching the spring out of its normal shape as much as you can. When the spring goes back into its normal size, it pushes forward into its normal position and then the mass of you pushes you forward causing the spring to stretch and then the spring goes back into its normal position. The mass of you then brings the horse back and so on until it stops which is when you start over again by pulling back on the handlebars.

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