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Rollecoaster Banked Curve Physics

by shisek
Tags: banked, curve, physics, rollercoaster, turn
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Apr10-13, 09:36 PM
P: 1
Hey all,

I'm in the process of writing a report concerning the physics of rollercoasters going around banked curves. With the rollercoaster i'm focussing on, the velocity of the car is always greater than the designed velocity of curves meaning there is a friction force parallel to the bank. I understand the vector diagrams and the derivation of formulas for μ, v and banking angle but i'm a bit confused concerning acquiring usable data from accelerometer readings.

Here are my questions:
1. Is acceleration parallel to the bank just due to friction or is there a portion of centripetal acceleration included?
2. What is a good testable mathematical relationship regarding banked curves? I've had some ideas but none seem all too solid.

Thanks for reading! Please offer some insight even if you can only answer one question :).

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Simon Bridge
Apr11-13, 01:45 AM
Sci Advisor
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Simon Bridge's Avatar
P: 12,482
you rode a roller-coaster with an accelerometer on your lap huh? cool!

accelerometers usually measure the acceleration in a particular direction
if you pointed it towards the center of the turn, you'd pick up a component of centripetal acceleration as well.

don't understand q2.

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