Up and down, light and heavy, fast and slow: but where?

Urban Eriksson, Ann-Marie Pendrill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Vertical amusement rides let your body experience the tickling sensation of feeling light, but also feeling much heavier than as usual, due to velocity changes as you move up and down. Family rides offer different possibilities to visualize the forces that are experienced by your accelerating body. This paper presents a number of different ways to view and experience the motion in a small vertical amusement ride. A smartphone includes an accelerometer that can provide a graph of the forces acting during the ride. A movie from the smartphone camera lets students recall the motion which can then be analysed in more detail. The complementary representations may help students develop a deeper understanding of the relation between force and motion. The affordances of these different semiotic resources are analysed in some detail. In addition, we discuss responses from a number of students to questions about where you feel light and where you feel heavy. We find that the experience of the body is an underused resource in physics teaching.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysics Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Other Physics Topics (10399)
  • Didactics (50302)


  • Physics education research
  • acceleration
  • embodiment
  • force


Dive into the research topics of 'Up and down, light and heavy, fast and slow: but where?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this