# Roller Coast

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Roller Coast
er 3) Physics of roller coasters | |
Simply speaking, a roller coaster is a machine that uses gravity and inertia to send a train of cars along a winding track.[1] This combination of gravity and inertia, along with G-forces and centripetal acceleration give the body certain sensations as the coaster moves up, down, and around the track. The forces experienced by the rider are constantly changing, leading to feelings of joy in some riders and nausea in others. The basic principles of roller coaster mechanics have been known since 1865,[citation needed] and since then roller coasters have become a popular diversion. * | centripetal acceleration
Centripetal acceleration is not a true force, but rather the result of an object’s inertia, or resistance to change in direction, as the object moves in a circular path. The "force" points toward the center of the circle, but a roller coaster rider would feel centripetal acceleration as a force pushing them toward the outer edge of the car. The following equation expresses centripetal acceleration:

where ar is centripetal acceleration, v is velocity and r is the radius of the circular path. This shows that two roller coaster cars entering two loops of different size at the same speed will experience different acceleration forces: the car in the tighter loop will feel greater acceleration while the car in the wider loop will feel less acceleration.
Energy
Roller coasters have no engines. Instead, the car is pulled to the top of the first hill and released, at which point it rolls freely along the track without any external mechanical assistance for the remainder of the ride. The law of conservation of energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, thus, the purpose of the ascent of the first hill is to build up potential energy that will then be converted to kinetic energy as the ride progresses. The initial hill, or the lift hill, is the tallest in the entire ride. As the

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