Philip P. answered • 09/03/14

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The formula is:

**Height = 3 cos(pi*t/3) + 9**

The center of the ferris wheel is 9 m above the ground, so that is how high up it is displaced and accounts for the "+ 9" term

The ferris wheel has an amplitude of 3, causing it to vary from 9-3=6 m to 9+3=12 m above the ground.

The ferris wheel has a period of 6 minutes, so its angular rate is (2pi radians)/(6 minutes) = pi/3. Multiply that by time to get the angle (pi*t/3).

Click on the link below for a graph of the problem:

http://www.wyzant.com/resources/files/286001/ferris_wheel_problem