Roller Coasters

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05-21-13
Physics
Roller Coaster Physics
For many people there is only one reason to go to amusement parks, the roller coaster. The past of roller coaster in a never ending search for crazier and more death defying thrills. A lot of people wonder how do they really work? If a person were to step back and look there is no engine on the cars. So, how do they work and what makes them really move?

The whole idea behind the roller coaster is the transfer of energy. The conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy is what drives the roller coaster around the track. All the kinetic energy you need is produced upon descending the first hill. The roller coasters have different types of wheels to make the ride the most enjoyable to the rider. The friction wheels maintain lateral motion. Running wheels guide the roller coater on the track. The last set of wheels keeps the ride on the track even if it’s inverted.

The tracks are also a big part of the physics concepts behind roller coasters. When coasters are made there is a large amount of thought put into the designs. The coaster tracks are what channel this force they control the way the coaster cars fall. If the tracks slope down, gravity pulls the front of the car toward the ground, so it accelerates. If the tracks tilt up, gravity applies a downward force on the back of the coaster, so it slows down.

The whole idea behind roller coasters is both a thrilling and genius concept based on both physical science and conceptual physics.
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