# Roller Coasters Research Paper

781 Words4 Pages
Roller Coaster Components A typical roller coaster consists of a launcher or lift, cars with wheels that ensure that the carts stay on the tracks, and brakes. Roller coasters are actually controlled by physics. Different types of energy and forces are necessary from the ride to move without extra aid. These are kinetic and potential energy, inertia, gravity, air resistance, centripetal force, and friction. Potential energy is stored energy, while kinetic energy is energy of movement. Acceleration is an increase in speed. Gravity is the force that pulls objects to the center of the Earth. Inertia is an object’s resistance to changes in velocity. Air resistance and friction resist motion. Centripetal force is the force needed to keep an…show more content…
It is used when the cars need to travel up the first hill of the ride. When the carts reach the top of the hill, they have built up a great deal of potential energy. Now, the chain lift doesn’t need to be used until they move all the way around the tracks and return to the hill. Why? The carts’ potential energy is changed into kinetic energy, which powers them throughout the whole track, while gravity helps the carts descend down the hills. If the cart reaches a large hill and can no longer propel itself with kinetic energy, another chain is used and the first process is repeated. For the carts to be carried all the way around the track without extra help, any hills following the first hill can not be larger than the first one or all the kenetic energy will be dissipated and the cart will stop moving…show more content…
Kinetic friction occurs between the tracks and the wheels of the carts as they move. Static friction keeps the car in place on the tracks when it stops or when it is still. The kinetic friction occurring during the ride releases a small part of the initial kinetic energy of the car. This is why the car can not return all the way back to the top of the first hill without another lift from the chain. The weight of the car can affect its friction with the tracks. The more weight being beared on another surface, the more microwelds that can form, causing more static