Roller Coaster Physics

Better Essays
Individuals love to go to the amusement parks and try out the rides that are available. The most common and thrilling ride is the roller coaster. An amusement park is not an amusement park if it does not contain a roller coaster. What makes these roller coasters so fun that every amuse parks has one. A lot of people would say it is their extreme high speeds that makes it very exciting. That is a valid answer, but it is the wrong answer. The speed has nothing to do with the excitement. It is more than likely that most people travel faster on their ride along the highway on the way to the amusement park than they would in a roller coaster. Basically the thrill all comes from the acceleration and the feeling of weightlessness that they produce. Roller coasters thrill people because of their ability to accelerate them downward one moment and upwards the next; leftwards one moment and rightwards the next. How does this thrill machine work? There are two ways that this question will be answered. First, through the basic principles and then through a more advanced explanation.
Roller coaster rides involve a great deal of physics. The ride often begins with a chain and motor which exerts a force on the train of cars to lift the train to the top of a tall hill. Once the cars are lifted to the top of the hill, gravity takes over and the rest of the ride works on energy transformation. There is no motor or engine that takes a train around the track. The law of physics is basically the engine of the train. At the top of the hill, the cars possess a large amount of potential energy because they are elevated very high above the ground. The potential energy depends on the mass and the height of the object. As the cars are released they lose a lot of their potential energy but they gain kinetic energy because all of the potential energy is transferred into kinetic energy. The kinetic energy depends on the mass of the object and the speed of the object. As the cars lose speed, they

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    People sometimes engage in activities and are unaware that such activity involves physics. Physics is all around. For instance, you may go to Six Flags and do not analyze how physics helps the machines you ride in operate. Have you ever asked yourself how a roller coaster works? Would roller coasters safely run without the knowledge that physics offers us? The answer is no. Roller coasters are driven by physics; it mobilizes and gives its riders amusement through forces such as inertia, gravitation…

    • 1562 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Physics Of Roller Coasters

    • 1672 Words
    • 7 Pages

    almost all roller coasters only rely on Earth’s gravity to get the cars down the track? Roller coasters are centered all on physics and I will hopefully teach you some things, big or small about them today. In this essay we will be exploring the world of roller coasters. Some of the topics we will cover will range from the history, to the principles that allow the cars to continue throughout the length of the track, and the general physics surrounding roller coasters. The history of roller coasters…

    • 1672 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Physics, Roller Coasters

    • 552 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Part 1 Roller coasters Additional notes: GPE = m x g x h KE = m x v₂ The main energy transfers that happen as a car travels along the track from the start of the ride to the end: [1]The rollercoaster car gains gravitational potential energy (GPE) as it travels to the top. Once over the top, the car gains speed as GPE is transferred to kinetic energy (KE). As it travels to the top of another loop, KE is transferred to GPE. Not all the energy is transferred to or from GPE – some is transferred…

    • 552 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Roller Coaster Physics

    • 576 Words
    • 3 Pages

    As the height of the roller coaster increases, the speed of the marble decreases; and vice versa. When the height of the roller coaster is at it’s peak, the highest point, and the motion of the marble is going uphill; the speed has less kinetic energy than it has potential. The potential energy is being stored up, as the marble’s velocity is at an upward motion. Once the ball reaches the highest point and starts moving in a downwards motion, it releases the stored energy and gains kinetic energy…

    • 576 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Physics in Roller Coasters There is a lot of Physics in a roller coaster. It contains a lot of potential and kinetic energy, and also centripetal force. All of these factors will define how the roller coaster really works. As we all know, or some of us know, roller coasters doesn’t use engine to operate the ride. It depends on converting potential energy into kinetic energy. Cars will need a certain amount of pull or push to reach a certain peek of the track. Upon reaching the peak, the energy…

    • 261 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Roller Coaster Physics

    • 365 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Amusement Park Physics For: Mr Day Due: 01/04/08 By Rhys Webb Synopsis 1 Introduction 2 Brief history of Roller Coasters 2 Physics of roller coasters 2 Roller coaster Design 3 Analysis of Roller Coaster 4 1st Slope 4 2nd Slope 4 1st Dip 5 3rd slope 5 Loop 5 Conclusion 5 Bibliography 6 Appendix 6 Synopsis The context of this report is to design and analyse a roller coaster within the parameters of: a maximum “g” force of “4g’s”, a length of 40 to 100 seconds and…

    • 365 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Physics of Roller Coasters

    • 1450 Words
    • 6 Pages

    “A roller coaster is considered any elevated track with curves and rises, carrying passengers in open, rolling cars for entertainment” (5). Today’s roller coasters appear to be tons of tubular metal intertwined around itself, but regardless of how big, fast, or gravity defying they are, they all use the same natural force – gravity. The more twisting, turning, flipping, and the faster a roller coaster goes, the more the coaster depends on the law of physics, not mechanics, to keep it moving. There…

    • 1450 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Physics of Roller Coasters

    • 1146 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Antônia C. Physics HL Aspects of Physics Case Study: Amusement Parks On the 26th of February, 2011 our class went on a field trip in order to analyse the aspects of physics present in amusement parks. I chose two aspects based on my favourite rides: ‘Kaboom’ (which works based on free-fall) and the roller coaster.  The Physics of Roller Coasters How does a Roller Coaster work? Roller coasters have no engines (although many still tend to think they do) and are thus not propelled around the…

    • 1146 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    will loop the loop. The underlying principle of all roller coasters is the law of conservation of energy. When a roller coaster crests the first big hill,gravity takes over. Potential energy is sometimes known as positional energy. As the roller coaster falls is has enough kinetic energy to make it through the remainder of the ride. Inertia keeps the object in motion. The other forces bring the roller coaster to a stop by friction. Since roll coasters don’t have motors they need to be pulled up by a…

    • 431 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    something that was centered on physics. At first we were looking doing something towards space or the speed of light, but then Karina brought up the topic of roller coasters and it stuck. It really sounded like a fun topic to cover. In this essay we will be exploring the world of roller coasters. Some of the topics we will cover will be the history, the principles that allow the cars to continue throughout the length of the track, and the physics of roller coasters. The history of rollercoasters…

    • 1211 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays