Science Project

This sounds kind of dumb, but I’m doing a science project on unicycling and any helpful information would be good. :thinking:


Kinda Vague, but what exactly are you doing it on?

Are you just writing up info about unicycling, then you only have to search this site and the rest of the net.

If your comparing unicycles, then etc

Yea you might need to explain your ideas a bit, I know there are some people who are good at science here so… Explain and you will get more ideas shot at you.


One really good idea for a HS science project on unicycling might be to investigate frictional forces between the tire and the floor. What movements in unicycling depend on friction, which ones don’t. Which direction is the frictional force directed for different tricks? How could that knowledge help riders pick the right riding surface and tire combination for certain tricks.

Just an idea!

How about the spinning wheel and centrifugal force?

How about different metals used for frames and the comparsion between strength and weight. Or, look into the different types of Hubs ( splined, cauterless, and cautered), compare them and state the various pros and cons as they may be.

just so you know jeff there is no such thing as centrifugal force…only centripetal force, just so you dont use wrong info if you decide to use this in your project. good luck!:slight_smile:


Centrifugal force is a force that is the same magnitude as the centripetal force, but in the opposite direction.

I for one believe in the all-mighty Centrifugal Force. It is a great being. All you need is faith.

On a more real note, I’m not sure that there are too many unicycle-specific projects that you could create. I think that so far this is a pretty decent idea:

I don’t think there are many opportunities for gyroscopic/Centrifugal Forces to be exparimented on a unicycle, as they have no applications. Furthermore, the way cranks play with the rotation patterns of a spinning unicycle wheel would through stuff off quite a bit.

In Centrifugal Force we trust!

use physics !!! and get osme ryan atkins vids ! or put soething about bio on that thing on world’s guiness record where they say that kris holm is more then human for his crazy balance… ***not guines record ripleys belive it or not…

write about the first unicycles where they rided penny fartings with the rear wheel in the air. :roll_eyes:

wow, heaps of ideas

Yeah, physics give a range of ideas. And then there’s chemistry where you could talk about materials used and strenghts and stuff.

Something about how much energy you spend accellerating and deaccellerating in order to stay ballanced. You could do some comparisons if you are on average 10, 5, or 2 degrees out of equilibrium or something like that. You’d have to simplify the problem somewhat, but that’d probably be ok for a school project.

What, exactly, doesn’t rely on friction? I was pretty sure everything relys on friction (between the ground and the tire) to make it work. (Try riding on ice with a bald tire, and see how difficult it is).

Well I know the answer, there is one class of moving parts on a unicycle that one wants zero friction (well ideally, but you do want the lowest friction possible) but it it HIS science project, and I’m not going to write it for him!!!

Between the tire an the surface, there are times when friction becomes more or less critical during certain manuvers. the direction of the frictional force will also change.

My point is that friction is always critical between the tire and the ground. If you can think of some time when it’s not (other than jumping perfectly vertically, which is somewhat impossible) PM me to let me know, sometimes I’m wrong.

I think I somewhat misinterpreted you’re original post. I wasn’t thinking of moving parts on the unicycle, I was thinking of woving the unicycle as a whole.


If you’ve got access to software like ‘Videopoint’ you might try looking at a video of someone (yourself!) hopping or jumping. Compare the height gained by the bottom of the wheel to that gained by the rider’s centre of mass - there’s usually quite a difference. SImilar stuff has been done for track & field athletes and ballet dancers - Nijinsky was famous for seeming to fly across the stage. Check out The Physics of Dance by Kenneth Laws. Or grab a copy of Halliday & Resnick’s classic physics book, Fundamentals of Physics (5th ed.) and look at Chap. 9.
Good luck!


Centrifugal, or centre fleeing, force is simply the lack of centripetal force. See it like this, you have a string with a marble on the end. If you swing it, the string becomes taut and the marble goes around in circles. Your hand is holding the string, and the string makes sure the marble doesn’t leave the circle. So the force keeping the marble going round and round is directed inwards. If centrifugal force was equal to centripetal force, the marble would be going in a straight line, as the two forces together would be 0 and have no effect. This is also why a circular motion is the only motion where an object can be accelerated, yet not change it’s velocity. (It is always receiving an accelerating inwards, F = ma, where F and m are a constant, and thus a is as well.)

Gilby’s right: centrifugal force is a measurable phenomenon equal and opposite to the centripetal force, that scientists use all the time (centrifuges are an example). the force, however, not simple, it is a residual effect of the spinning mass’s inertia, which wants to keep it going straight. Spinning objects are under constant accelleration (constantly changing velocity vectors). Centrifugal force is the same in principle as when we feel ourselves being forced upon when he are accellerating or slowing in an elevator. Gravity always effects us the same, gravitational forces don’t increase or decrease, but we feel a force becasue of our inertia and our accellerating or decellerating state. If you put a scale beneath us, the scale would even read differently! But we we never really gain gravitational weight on an elevator unless we eat the donuts very fast.

You could analyse the variety of substances being picked up by a knobbly muni tyre.