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"The laws of physics are as valid here in the circus as they are back in the laboratory, with pucks and air tables. With these words, spoken at the edge of a circus ring, Steve Swithenby sets ...the tone for the programme. For in the programme a range of basic mechanical principles are revised by performing close analysis on a number of specially-staged circus acts. The analysis makes extensive use of freeze and stop-frame techniques, plus superimposed and animated graphics. The principles illustrated are: the C of M of a body flies in a simple parabola; for a falling body, horizontal and vertical motion may be analysed independently; the tension in a tight-rope may be estimated by considering equilibrium of forces; the direction of a force may be deduced by considering torques about a convenient point; the difficulty of applying conservation or Linear momentum and energy in real life systems; howan acrobat Jumping on a tightrope uses F dot S to stop himself from bouncing back up when he lands; the reason a trapeze artist becomes horizontal as she spins faster; how a tight rope walker uses the conservation of angular momentum to keep balance. The programme ends by asking why is it easier to balance a golf club than a pencil?
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: S271, Discovering physics
Item code: S271; 06
First transmission date: 21-04-1982
Published: 1982
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:00
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Producer: John Stratford
Contributors: Cheryl Newport; Steve Swithenby
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Acts; Circus ring; Freeze/stop-frame
Master spool number: HOU3844
Production number: FOUS231W
Videofinder number: 1785
Available to public: no