Roller Coaster Proj.

5/26/15

1. Types of energy in a RC

Energy types:

-Mechanical energy

-Gravitational energy

-Potential energy

-Electric Energy

2. How the energy changes throughout the coaster

At first the coaster is puled up the giant hill by a chain which produces mechanical energy. As the roller coaster is at the top of the hill the PE is much greater than the KE. But as the coaster goes down the hill, there is almost no PE and only KE. When the coaster finally reaches the end of the ride, the brakes, which produce ME and EE, stop the cars so that the riders can get off.

3. How do these changes in energy affect how the coaster functions?

These changes affect how the coaster functions because, for example, without KE, the coaster would not be able to even move forward down a slope.

4. Similarities and differences between wooden and steel coasters

Construction-

Similarities: 1. They are both built with the same type of features, (hills, loops, etc). 2. They both have basically the same cars. 3. Usually they both have one big hill in the beginning to get momentum and velocity up.

Differences: 1. One is made of wood, while the other is made of steel. 2. The wooden one needs lots of wooden support beams, while the steel one only needs a few per piece of track. 3. The steel one can have mechanical boosters (for speed) built on it, while the old wooden one cannot.

Ride experience-

Similarities: 1. There are a lot of hills (high and small) and also have turns on the ride. 2. The car's seat belts and safety mechanisms are usually the same. 3. The chain system that is used to take the car up the hill is the same almost always.

Differences: 1. The more modern steel ones have loops and the old wooden ones don't. 2. On the old wooden ones it is really bumpy and some of the quick turns hurt, while on the steel ones the ride is usually smooth and doesn't hurt. 3. The older ones are much faster usually, and the new ones can be faster but no usually.

5. Roller coaster safety

Roller coasters are built to be safe and fun for everyone because if something bad did happen then the park would be sued for lots of money. They then would have to re-do the roller coaster's safety mechanism, which would cost even more money. This is why coaster constructers MUST get the safety right the first time. Roller coasters have multiple safety mechanisms on them to insure the riders safety. The main one that almost all coasters have is, a good seatbelt. this will stop your body from hurtling froward if the ride stops short or there is a loop in the ride. The other thing coasters have is, brakes. They stop the coster at the end, usually, so that the coaster doesn't run through the passenger-loading area. Another important piece of safety that coasters have is, computer mechanisms. The computer mechanisms not only say safety instructions over the loud speakers, but they also engage the brakes, launch the roller coaster from the loading area and release the pull down bars or restraints so that you can lift them up and get out. The last important safety item are surprisingly, the wheels on the cars. The wheels run around the actual track, ensuring that the coaster won't fly off the tracks. Those are all of the main safety items.