A physics question

I was researching amusement park rides for a recent project (from this site I have noticed that many others are in the same boat as me). Anywho, I am doing the Ferris wheel or the Giant Wheel, and I was wondering if this was right, with respect to potential energy: this is due to the wheels vertical position; this type of energy does not change on the Ferris wheel as it revolves, if gondolas on the are the same mass, because the center of mass does not change . The center of mass is single point at which the entire mass of a body is considered to be concentrated. The ferris wheel's center mass is its center. This point acts a balance point for the wheel so, the potential energy remains the same at all points on the Ferris wheel. The potential energy is calculated by PE=mgh or mgd

I am pretty sure that this right, but if you could please verify, that would be wonderful! Danke!


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  1. Yes it is right. Potential energy has very little to do with hiow ferris wheels work. It is mainly a case of electrical energy makng the motor do work overcoming bearing friction. Kinetic energy is not a factor either, except when it is starting up.

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