# By Dave Damato Coulter Somes. How is Physics Present in Coasters? What Makes A Roller Coaster Work Acceleration –Rate of change in velocity Slope –Downward.

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By Dave Damato Coulter Somes

How is Physics Present in Coasters? What Makes A Roller Coaster Work Acceleration –Rate of change in velocity Slope –Downward –Upward Centripetal force (the center seeking force) –Force that makes an object move in a circle

Uniform Circular Motion –The motion of a object around the center of a circle in such a manner that speed is constant and unchanging (loop) Colthoid –Much smaller radius at the top than at the bottom Key factor to prevent cars from approaching at too high of speeds and equalizes force as the coaster moves into the loop

Energy –An objects ability to do work Kinetic Potential Force –Push or pull on an object Balanced Force: Equal forces applied on each side Does not yield a change in velocity Unbalanced Force: Unequal forces applied that yield a change in velocity

Friction –Force that acts against the car resisting motion Affected by: –Weight/Surface Pressure Gravity –Most important force involved in a roller coaster Keeps the coaster on the track

Inertia –Resistance to move More mass = greater amount of inertia G-Forces (gravitational forces) –Change constantly throughout ride Decent

Velocity –An objects speed in a specific direction –Velocity changes with a change in direction Turns = same speed, different velocity Momentum Force/Speed of movement Object mass multiplied by its velocity

Work –Force used to move an object Ex. Gravity pulling the coaster down the track Mass –Measure of inertia

Fun Facts -Running Wheels Guides -Friction wheels Central lateral movement -Final set Keeps coaster on track

Potential/Kinetic Energy Experiment Car =.5kg Height of gate trial 1 –Gate 1: 14cm –Gate 2:.075cm

Calculations (Gate 1) Potential Energy –mgh =.5(10)(.14) =.7J Kinetic Energy –½(.5)(.775)^2 = 1.50 J Total Energy –.7 +.150 =.85

Calculations (Gate 2) Potential Energy –mgh =.5(10)(.075) =.375 J Kinetic Energy –½(.5)(1.480)^2 =.5476 J Total Energy –.375 +.5476 =.9226

Data Table TrialHeight (m)PE (J)Velocity (m/s)KE (J)Total E (J)% Difference 1.) Gate 10.140.6860.7751.50.836 1.) Gate 20.0750.3681.480.5480.9157.894 2.) Gate 10.110.5390.6890.1190.658 2.) Gate 20.060.2941.2840.4120.7064.848 3.) Gate 10.090.4410.6090.0930.534 3.) Gate 20.0530.261.1350.3220.5824.804 4.) Gate 10.0660.3230.4930.0610.384 4.) Gate 20.0420.2060.9010.2030.4092.459

Explanation of Results % Change .9226-.85=.0726*100 = 7.26 Potential energy converts to kinetic Energy as it reaches the bottom of the hill. The longer the car is on the track, the more affect the friction has on the velocity.

Bibliography Web Site: Henderson, Tom. Glenbrook South Physics. Course home page. Fall 1996-Spring 2004. Spring 2004. Dept. of Science, Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, Illinois. 5 Feb. 2007. Web Site: McCoy, Natallie. Think Quest. 5 Feb. 2007. Web Site: Harris, Tom. "How Roller Coasters Work." How Stuff Works. 2007. Google. 6 Feb. 2007. Web Site: The Mechanical Universe...and Beyond. "Roller Coaster." Amusement Park Physics. 10 Feb. 2007. Annenberg Media. 13 Feb. 2007. Book: McGrath, Kimberley A. World of Physics. Wisconsin: The Gale Group, 2001.

Podcast http://www.howstuffworks.com/roller- coaster1.htmhttp://www.howstuffworks.com/roller- coaster1.htm http://www.howstuffworks.com/roller- coaster1.htmhttp://www.howstuffworks.com/roller- coaster1.htm http://fc.cushing.org/~ddamato07/FOV2- 0001F4A1/S017C4962.0/Attach0.mp3http://fc.cushing.org/~ddamato07/FOV2- 0001F4A1/S017C4962.0/Attach0.mp3

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