Roller Coaster Webquest

By: Akila M and Nicole A

Question 1: Define Potential Energy

Potential energy - The energy possessed by a body by virtue of its position relative to others, stress within its self, electric charge, and other factors.

In other words it is energy that is stored up and waiting to be realesed.

Example: waiting at the top of the hill on a roller coaster

Question 2: Define Kinetic energy

Kinetic energy- Energy that a body possesses by virtue of being in motion.

In other words it is energy that is in motion.

Example- When you are travleing down a hill on a roller coaster and you reach the lowest part of the curve.

Question 3: Compare and contrast passenger comfort on a roller coaster with a banked curve and a regular curve

Compare: Both are curves that are fun and safe (you may just choose one, becase you feel better on it).


A passenger on a banked curve will have less comfort (as in stomach flips) and will be more likely to get head injury and exprience more G's. They will get an extra thrill.

On a regular curve a passenger may have less thrills, but they will be a bit safer and experience less G's.

Please note that there are always exceptions and different ideas of "comfort".

Question 4: Do you need a shoulder harness on a looping coaster?

In a looping coaster, you need a shoulder harness, because it will keep you in place even on the drops and rather violent turns, flips, and flops. When you are completly upside down you would not want your upper body to be hanging down. You want to stay securly in place and against the back of your seat. A shoulder harness will work and provide you with all these things. A seat belt type buckle is enough when you are riding straight (kiddy) coasters.