precalculus
posted by dave
I have absolutely no idea even where to start. Please help!
The carnival has come to town with a ferris wheel that has a radius of 30 feet. People get on when passenger compartments are at the lowest, 2 feet off the ground. The wheel makes a full revolution in 20 seconds.
Using a cosine function, write an equation modelling the height of a passenger from the ground as a function of time.
Thanks so much!

Steve
the wheel has a radius of 30, so
y = 30sint or 30cost
people get on at the bottom, so at t=0 y is at its minimum
y = 30cost
the minimum is at y=2, so
y = 3230cost
the period is 20. y=cos(kt) has a period of 2π/k, so 2π/k = 20. k=π/10
y = 3230cos(π/10 t)
see
http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=3230cos(%CF%80%2F10+t)
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