Roller Coaster Physics Essay

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Physics plays an important role in the mechanics of a roller coaster. The thrilling ride cannot be appreciated, if the physics of a roller coaster is not understood. The loops, bends and hills are all affected by physics.
The first hill of a roller coaster is the initial start of energy. Potential energy begins the transfer of energy on the first hill. A chain motor pulls the cars to the top of the hill creating potential energy. Potential energy being defined as the energy determined by its position compared to that of its surroundings. The potential energy is built up due to the height of the roller coaster. Although some of the energy is lost it is eventually turned into kinetic energy. Kinetic energy also referred to as motion energy is
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As height is lost potential energy is built up and as height is gained kinetic energy is built up. The transformation of kinetic and potential energy is referred to as mechanical energy transformation. Both Kinetic and Potential energy are greatly affected by gravity. These energies alone cannot pull the roller coaster; it requires gravitational potential and kinetic energy in order to maneuver the cars as intended. The speed corresponds with kinetic energy where as the height corresponds with potential energy. Although speed and the transfer of energy are main sources of acceleration another force involved in the acceleration of the roller coaster is gravity. (Normani, …show more content…
The gravity that pulls the cars through out the ride creates the various energies demonstrated within a roller coaster. The force of gravity is what allows the loops and bends to occur during a roller coaster ride. Gravity acts upon the roller coaster to create weightlessness. Despite air resistance, all objects on earth speed up at a rate of 9.8 m/s due to gravitational pull. Weightlessness occurs due to the pull of gravity and the resistance of the ground. When on a roller coaster people feel weightless because the roller coaster accelerates at 22 mph every second, it accelerates down at a speed of 9,8 m/s. This is referred to as a 1g environment: any object that is pulled by a force equal to gravity[1 g = 9.8 m/s2 = 22 mph/s].
 (Regents of the University of Colorado, 2007)This sensation is created at a negative g or no g at all because the acceleration of the roller coaster produced another g as the ride continued on. (Wayne, VIP,

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