Year 12 Luna Park Physics Excursion

On the 6th of March, the Year 12 physics class enjoyed an exhilarating day at Luna Park, thanks to the Luna Park’s thrilling VCE physics days.  Salesian along with a handful of schools, had Luna Park solely to themselves ensuring that lines were very short, and time for learning was maximised. Throughout the day the boys applied the physics principles in their most recent area of study, motion, to the real world of the Luna park rides. While stuck to the wall of the rotor we observed the effects of centripetal force on motion. Hanging upside down on the enterprise we witnessed firsthand the effects of gravity in circular motion. Then, during the legendary scenic railway we applied our knowledge of the normal force to understand the feeling of weightlessness experienced. Furthermore, our class was able to observe the application of mechanical energy, which was dependent on gravitational potential energy at the highest points of the roller coaster, and kinetic energy during the fastest point of motion down towards the ground. A highlight of my day was the flight simulator, which allowed us to pilot a virtual fighter jet, offering greater insight into potential physics-related careers. Overall, it was a great chance to consolidate and gain a deeper understanding of the theory learnt in class, not only was it a highlight of the boys’ year, but will also be an invaluable experience come exam time.

Ben Brooks
Year 12