Essay On Physics Of Roller Coasters

838 Words4 Pages
In Rainbow's End, there is a roller coaster called 'Corkscrew'. Roller coasters are designed to thrill passengers. There are a lot of physics behind them. The carefully designed passenger carts are released from great heights around a track that is also carefully designed. This allows the passengers to experience a range of "g-forces". We feel like roller coasters are scary because they are very fast. Actually, roller coasters are scary not due to their speed. It is due to their accelerations/forces and the weightlessness plus weightness that passengers will feel, produced by the roller coaster. Because of the ability of the roller coasters to accelerate passengers downwards one moment and upwards the next second, then leftwards one moment and rightwards the next second, roller…show more content…
Roller coaster rides often begin with a mechanical device like a motor exerting a force on the carts to lift the trains up to the top of the first hill that is usually very tall. After that, gravity takes over and the rest of the ride is an experience in energy transformation. According to the law of conservation of energy, energy can only change form within a closed system, but it cannot be created or destroyed. If energy conserves, the total amount of energy will stay constant. Ep=Ek. The conservation of potential energy to kinetic energy and back again for many times during the ride is what makes the roller coaster keep moving. Kinetic energy is the energy that is a result of an object's motion. When objects are moving, they will always have kinetic energy, which depends on the mass and speed of the object. It can be calculated by the formula: Ek = 0.5 * m * v^2. Ek stands for kinetic energy in Joules(J), m stands for mass(kg), v stands for velocity(m/s or m⋅s−1). Once the roller coaster goes down the first hill, the kinetic energy needed for the whole ride is gained. Potential energy is the energy that is a result of an object's position. It