Physics of rollercoasters
Types of Energy in a roller coaster
How The Energy Changes Throughout The Roller Coaster
When the cart is at the top of a hill on the roller coaster track it has the most potential energy. It has this potential energy because it is in a vertical position when on the hill. The cart has potential energy from being in a vertical position because when it is in this position because when released it will drop down faster than the speed it started at so it has the potential for going much faster. As the cart rolls down the hill it begins to lose this potential energy and as it's rolling down the hill it gains kinetic energy. As the cart loses its height it gains speed therefore transforming this potential energy to kinetic energy. And during the entire ride there is mechanical energy but different amounts throughout the course of the roller coaster because mechanical energy is the sum of potential energy and kinetic energy and during the ride the amounts kinetic and potential energy are always changing because there are many twists, turns, clothoid loops, hills, drops, etc.