Roller Coaster Project

By: Matthew Iglehart

Background Information

When a roller-coaster goes up the first hill it builds up a lot of potential energy to keep the cart going through the full ride. Throughout the ride, the potential energy switches back and forth with kinetic energy. Also, a roller-coaster depends on the laws of inertia and gravity.

My Roller-Coaster

Big image


According to the website, my coaster got a six on the Fear-o-Meter.


Big image
Big image

Balanced and Unbalanced Forces

  • On a roller-coaster, the places you see balanced forces are the beginning/end and the top of the first hill. At the beginning/end there is a constant rate of motion. Also, when you reach the top of the first hill, you briefly stop and that is considered a balanced force.
  • The unbalanced points are on the small hills and loops. They are always accelerating and (de)accelerating while changing directions which makes it unbalanced.

Newton's Laws of Motion

  • 1st Law: When you are waiting at the start your body is resting and when the ride starts the cart pulls you forward putting you in motion.
  • 2nd Law: All roller-coasters uses the 2nd law. First, hey have the cart and whatever they make it weigh. Second, they use gravity to force you through the ride. Finally, the force and weight together create the acceleration of the ride.
  • 3rd Law: While you are being forced forward be the cart, the law of inertia is keeping you back causing you to be pulled back.

Potential and Kinetic Energy

  • The spot that has the most potential energy is at the beginning. The reason for that is because you need to be able to keep all your energy so that you can make it to the end of the roller-coaster. if you have a second hill that's bigger than the first you won't be able to make it.
  • The spot with the most kinetic energy is the dip. The dip that has the most kinetic energy because

Speed, Velocity, and Acceleration

Roller-Coasters always vary in speed but they all use acceleration. Roller-Coasters speed up, slow down and have multiple turns. Also, the whole time you are just going back to the beginning as a finish point.


  • Harris, Tom. "How Roller-coasters Work." HowStuffWorks., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2015.
  • "Rollercoasters." How Rollercoasters Work. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2015
  • "What Is the Physics behind How a Roller Coaster Works? - R." Research the Topic -. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Nov. 2015.