# Explain The Physics Behind Roller Coasters

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A roller coaster is a fairground attraction that consists of a light railway track, which has many tight turns and steep slopes on which people ride in small, fast open carriages. Roller coasters have a long, interesting history. Roller coasters were known as huge ice slides, long, steep wooden­ slides covered in ice, some as high as 70 feet. And were popular in Russia back in the 16th and 17th centuries. The riders would shoot down the slope in sleds that were made out of wood or blocks of ice, leaving them crash-landing in a sand pile. However since then engineers have developed the rollercoaster and continue to develop the rollercoaster increasing its’ speed and fear factor making it more exciting and amusing. As a member of the engineering department at Dream World on the Gold Coast, Myself and four other members (Jess, Danielle, Emma and Mako) have worked together in order to modify the Thunderbolt roller coaster to increase…show more content…
Roller coasters may seem very straightforward, however physics has a role in the movement of these thrilling rides. The initial purpose of the roller coaster was to build a type of reservoir of potential energy. And the concept is very simple – potential energy, frequently referred to as energy of position, allows the coaster to get higher, whilst gravity pulls it down to a greater distant. At least everyone in his or her lifetime has experienced this phenomenon – consider riding a bike or pulling your sled to the top of a hill. When going up the hill potential energy is built and can then be released as kinetic energy – which is the energy of motion that will allow you to move down the hill. As you cruise down the hill, gravity takes over and all the previous built up potential energy is converted in to kinetic energy. Which gravity then applies a constant downward force allowing you to move down hill? This phenomenon is very much alike to the roller