Roller Coaster

Roller Coaster
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Storyboard Description

Physics 3.20

Storyboard Text

  • I love the fair. My favorite thing to do is ride roller coasters.
  • My favorite roller coaster have clothoid loops, an upside down teardrop. This means the loop has a smaller radius at the top than the bottom, making the rider feel lighter at the top and heavier at the bottom. I especially enjoy it when the ride is upside down and even going backwards. Feeling the force (gravity) holding you in the car when you should be falling out is exciting.
  • The centripetal acceleration and centripetal force generated on a roller coaster are high. This force that is directed towards the center is what makes riders feel a sense of weightlessness. The more weightlessness a rider feels the more memorable the ride.
  • Going through a horizontal roller coaster loop, the tracks push against the car, and by extension your bottom, to keep you going in a circle. Your body pushes back, according to Newton's 1st and 3rd Laws. The force of your body pushing back is what keeps you in your seat.
  • The tangential velocity of the roller coaster is the speed of the ride as ts moves in the loops. The loops can have different size circumferences, distance around the circle.
  • Even at the fair while riding rides and having fun, physics is at work all around us.
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