Physics of Roller Coasters

Physics of Roller Coasters

Types of Energy

Roller coasters use two types of energy, Potential Energy (PE) and Kinetic Energy (KE), Potential Energy takes place when the roller coaster is not moving. Kinetic Energy takes place when the roller coaster is in motion.

Change in Energy

On a roller coaster, energy types will change. when the cart reaches the top of the hill is when potential energy takes place, But when the cart is going down the track then Kinetic Energy will take place.

Importance of Change in Energy

The roller coaster changes the types of energy so that the coaster/cart will be able to go forward or stop. If the coaster doesn't stop then bad things can happen. If the coaster stops at the wrong time then people could get stuck or injured.

Compare and Contrast a Wooden Roller Coaster to a Steel Roller Coaster

Wooden roller coasters and steel coasters are pretty different. Steel coasters can have loops, go fast, and can go up very high. Wooden roller coasters cant do any of those things, but what they can do is sway a lot more than steel Roller coasters.

Roller Coaster Safety

Roller Coasters are built to be safe and fun at the same time, if you follow the safety procedures. Roller coasters focus on brakes to make sure that you don't go too fast on the ride and loose a limb. Roller coasters also focus on the wheels as well, if the wheels aren't cleaned or greased enough then the coaster will slow down and could get stuck in the middle of the track. Roller coasters also focus on restrains and computer controls so that they can make sure that everything runs smoothly on the track and that they can make sure that nothing goes wrong on the track.