h a l f b a k e r y
A few slices short of a loaf.

meta:

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.

 user: pass:
register,

# Wall o'death death

Evilly
 (+1, -3) [vote for, against]

The wall of death (variously named) is a fairground ride in which revellers stand inside a large drum. The drum spins, and centripugal forces press the riders agains the wall so firmly that, when the floor of the drum is moved away, they remain held in place.

It will be apparent that the success of this effect depends quite crucially on the coefficient of friction between the rider and the wall, to prevent any vertical sliding of the rider down the wall (assuming for simplicity that the drum continues to rotate in the horizontal plane).

The centripugal force is determined by the speed of rotation of the drum and by its diameter, but cannot exceed a few G without injuring the riders. Fortunately, the coefficient of friction between the rider's clothing and the drum wall is high enough that a few G of centripugal force is enough to stop the rider sliding down the wall (under the unchanging 1G of downward-pointing gravity).

However, there are now materials available with very low coefficients of friction (against most other materials).

Were such a material available in the form of an aerosol spray, and were such an aerosol spray to fall into the hands of a malicious person, and were such a person to visit one of these walls of death, the results would be very newsworthy.

 — MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 09 2012

Inside a Gravitron http://www.dweebist.../2011/02/gravitron/
Like a boss. [baconbrain, Mar 11 2012]

Well, the people in the ride would slide down to the bottom that had been pulled down, and, near the end of the ride, when the bottom is lifted again, the people will be pushed back up to where they started. What's the problem?
 — Vernon, Mar 09 2012

That's not a real wall of death. A wall of death is a cylindrical motorcycle track, with the spectators looking in over the top rim. However, the same low-friction aerosol spray could be used to equally humourous effect.
 — pocmloc, Mar 09 2012

 //What's the problem?// The problem happens if the wall falls away by more than half a person- height. In that case, they will have severe radial problems.

//That's not a real wall of death.// Hence my use of "variously named". In some places the fairground ride is called a wall of death; it also goes by many other names.
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 09 2012

The names may be various, but the deaths are not real.
 — pocmloc, Mar 09 2012

 — MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 09 2012

 //centripugal//

Next up: centipedal force
 — pertinax, Mar 10 2012

Death cometh swift, borne on countless tiny feet...
 — Alterother, Mar 10 2012

Sounds like The Luggage ... are they by any chance little pink feet ... ?
 — 8th of 7, Mar 10 2012

This I don't get. We have here a vaguely workable and malicious scheme, guaranteed to cause hilarity and carnage, and yet...
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 10 2012

 The rides in question work by having seats that slide up (not a floor that moves down) because the walls are tilted outwards. You would have to slide "uphill" to fall below the seat. However, if the seat was very slippery you could slide off the top of it, which would actually be worse.

//but cannot exceed a few G without injuring the riders.//. of course it could! Lying down, people can take 20+g easily, albeit without breathing. In fact, if the ride was any fun it would go to at least 6g.
 — DIYMatt, Mar 10 2012

 //The rides in question work by having seats that slide up (not a floor that moves down)// Not the one I've been on...

//Lying down, people can take 20+g easily, albeit without breathing. In fact, if the ride was any fun it would go to at least 6g.// So, what's the force provided by actual fairground versions?
 — MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 11 2012

"...the riders are experiencing centrifugal force equivalent to three times the force of gravity." Wikipedia, Gravitron article. The gravitron has the sliding seats (or rather, flat back rests).
 — spidermother, Mar 11 2012

 //and yet...//

You had some croissants but they slipped off.
 — pertinax, Mar 11 2012

 According to Wikipedia, the damned things are now called Starship 4000. Earlier versions had lower numbers, even earlier the name was Gravitron. The ride was derived from the Rotor, which had vertical walls and a drop-away floor.

When I rode a Rotor, back in the days of polyester pants, a few people on each ride simply slid down the vertical walls to the floor when it dropped. As I recall, when the ride slowed down to stop, people slid down the wall at various times.
 — baconbrain, Mar 11 2012

//Lying down, people can take 20+g easily, albeit without breathing//
Er, so clearly they can't take it for very long...
 — gnomethang, Mar 11 2012

They can withstand it for the rest of their lives.
 — AusCan531, Mar 11 2012

A ringing safety endorsement!
 — gnomethang, Mar 11 2012

 //Lying down, people can take 20+g easily, albeit without breathing//

 — Alterother, Mar 11 2012

 //Lying down, people can take 20+g easily, albeit without breathing//

I'd say that if they weren't interested in breathing anymore, people lying down could handle almost any g-load, up to the point of liquefication.
 — Custardguts, Mar 15 2012

 //up to the point of liquefication//

Up to the point where their guts turn into..., well, custard.
 — AusCan531, Mar 15 2012

 [annotate]

back: main index