Force and Motion

With Amusement Park Rides

Bumper cars

Let me tell you about the forces and motion of a bumper car. Objects like bumper cars will stay in motion unless a force like friction acts on it. Sir Issac Newton's 3rd law explain what happens when two bumper cars crash head on. Bumper cars when hit have an equal reaction in opposite directions. If both cars have the same weight and are going the same speed, they will both bounce backwards. If a heavy person is in a bumper car and it hits the lighter person in the bumper car, the lighter car will bounce farther and faster.
The physics of Bumper Cars - transfer of energy, momentum and angular momentum

Free Fall Rides

Now I am going to tell you about free falling rides. Gravity is the force that is pulling you down to the ground on these types of rides. When you are being pulled to the top of the ride, you are filled with potential energy. Kinetic energy is when you are being dropped down. Inertia is what makes your stomach feel weird because your body is at rest but the ride is moving.
Physics of Free Fall Ride

Roller Coasters

Roller Coasters can show forces and motion.

Let's speed through the world of physics with roller coasters. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest while objects in motion tend to stay in motion. As the roller coaster gains speed, the seat pushed you forward. When you are on a roller coaster, you feel weightless because you don't feel any support on your body in any direction. On a roller coaster, potential energy is stored while traveling up the track and kinetic energy happens when the coaster goes down.
Roller Coaster Physics

Pendulums, Playground Swings, and Pirate Ships

Pendulums, Playground Swings and Pirate Ships Show force and motion!

Let's swing and sail with facts about playground swings and pirate ships. A motor moves the pirate ship upward and sets it in motion. In each case, a force overcomes inertia. The pendulum is a weight hanging freely from a fixed point overhead. If you set the weight swinging, then it will eventually slow down. This is caused by friction. During the ride, the gravity around the ship does not change. As the ship swings up to the top of the curve, you begin to come up off the seat. This makes you feel weightless. The reason why is because the seat isn't pushing back on you. The three forces that are acting on this ride are gravity, friction, air resistance.
Cedar Point Ocean Motion 2010 Season Final Year In This Location