Elevator Problems

Elevator problems are actually easy. There are only two forces acting on the person in the elevator, gravity and the normal force. (In the problem the normal force may be referred to as “the force between the person and the floor”, “the force on the scale” -if the person is standing on a scale – or “the apparent weight”.)

The force of gravity (or weight) of the person is constant (mg). The normal force (or apparent weight) of the person can change.

As is shown in the diagrams below, if Fg = Fn then the elevator is moving at constant speed. If Fg > Fn then the elevator is accelerating downward. If Fn > Fg then the elevator is accelerating upward.

Question: Is it possible for Fn > Fg while the elevator is moving downward? If so, what is happening physically with the elevator?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Check the posts below for what we are doing daily in AP Physics, including homework.

%d bloggers like this: