What is Roller coaster: Definition and 228 Discussions

A roller coaster is a type of amusement ride that employs a form of elevated railroad track designed with tight turns, steep slopes, and sometimes inversions. People ride along the track in open cars, and the rides are often found in amusement parks and theme parks around the world. LaMarcus Adna Thompson obtained one of the first known patents for a roller coaster design in 1885, related to the Switchback Railway that opened a year earlier at Coney Island. The track in a coaster design does not necessarily have to be a complete circuit, as shuttle roller coasters demonstrate. Most roller coasters have multiple cars in which passengers sit and are restrained. Two or more cars hooked together are called a train. Some roller coasters, notably Wild Mouse roller coasters, run with single cars.

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  1. A

    Roller coaster and centripetal acceleration

    See attached image. The solution to this problem calculates v2 at the top of the roller coaster ride. Why is that? Shouldn't you calculate v2 at the bottom of the roller coaster ride as you require the maximum velocity there to get around the loop?
  2. Ineedhelpwithphysics

    Speeds of the rolling ball at different points in this roller coaster track

    For this question i tried to reason with my self that C was the fastest and A was the second fastest. B would be the third fastest and D would be the least fastest since the ball has to go up. I looked up the answer and it says that C is the fastest , B and D are equal, and A is the slowest. How...
  3. S

    Finding lower and upper limit for time related to roller coaster

    height from ground speed 100 40 80 48 60 60 40 72 20 80 I tried to plot the points (speed on x-axis and height on y axis) and I got more or less like a straight line but I am not sure whether the graph would help to calculate the upper and lower limit of the time. I also tried to...
  4. Purpleshinyrock

    Help me solve this equation please -- Roller Coaster Motion

    Hello. Can someone tell me what area of phisics should I study to better understand this exercise( I ve been looking at kinematics since it asks for the velocity but I can't seem to find where it talks about different points like this) and also what should I do to solve this exercise please? A...
  5. J

    Understanding the Work-Energy Theorem: Solving the Roller Coaster Problem

    height to point A is 65m. no friction. comes to rest at point A. total mass of the roller coaster is 650 kg. the work-energy theorem states that the net work done on an object is equal to the change in kinetic energy of the object. kinetic energy is E=1/2mv^2. initial velocity is...
  6. G

    Is Gravity the only force doing work on a roller coaster cart?

    Why I think gravity *is* the only force doing work on the rider: 1) The only forces acting on the rider are gravity and the normal force. Broken down into their component vectors, we have: -> The component of the force of gravity moving parallel to the rider's direction of motion -> The normal...
  7. meso

    Physics roller coaster question

    I am stuck at C and D. I tried to solve D by applying W= delta E W= Etotal F x d= 11172000 F= 11172000/7 But I am not sure if it is right
  8. J

    Roller Coaster Loop Problem

    So, we know that at the bottom of the loop, the car will have a normal force pointing upward and gravity pointing down. However, I have discovered that the normal force is apparently greater than the force due to gravity. Basically N = F(g) + ? What is this other force?
  9. M

    B Can I keep multiple clocks in sync after a ride on a roller coaster?

    Suppose there are 6 cars on a roller coaster and I synchronize 6 clocks at rest with respect to each other in a box with no wiggle room on the space station. The bottom of the box has the same shape as the curvature of the earth, and the box is always kept "top side up" with respect to the...
  10. E

    G-force diagram on a roller coaster?

    So, while we were going up the track, the z-direction gforce seemed to go up. It went from -1 to about -0.6. The x-direction seemed to be around 0, more or less? All x values were under 0.177. The y-direction decreased, more or less, from -0.4 to -0.9. I think if I understand how the force...
  11. Celso

    Particle in a "roller coaster"

    I first found ##v_{B}## by ##E_{p,A,B} = mgh_{1} = E_{c, B} = \frac{1}{2}mv_{B}^2 \therefore v_{B} = \sqrt{2gh_{1}} ## After this I made several failed attempts basically trying to find its final velocity so I could use conservation of energy. Spliting the velocity into its components never...
  12. J

    Speed at the top of an elliptical roller coaster loop

    Homework Statement This isn't really a homework but a project I'm doing that's due soon. In our multivariable calculus class, we're creating a 3D roller coaster, and I need to explain the physics behind the roller coasters. For a roller coaster loop, if it were perfectly circular, we would...
  13. A

    Roller Coaster Force Question

    Homework Statement :[/B] A child of mass 40.0 kg is in a roller coaster car that travels in a loop of radius 7.30 m. At point A the speed of the car is 15.0 m/s, and at point B, the speed is 15.6 m/s. Assume the child is not holding on and does not wear a seat belt. What is the force (in N) of...
  14. Y

    Roller coaster problem involving velocity

    Homework Statement A roller coaster reaches the top of the steepest hill with a speed of 7.0 km/h. It then descends the hill, which is at an average angle of 43° below horizontal and is 46.0 m long. What will its speed be when it reaches the bottom? Assume the coefficient of kinetic Friction...
  15. J

    Uniform Circular Motion of Roller Coaster

    Homework Statement Assume the roller coaster cart rolls along the curved track from point A to point C under the influence of gravity. Assume the friction between the cart and track is negligible. What would be the direction of the carts acceleration at point A? (The question in the image does...
  16. C

    Critical Velocity in a roller coaster cart

    1. The problem statement, all variables, and given/known data I was just wondering if a roller coaster can still pass through a loop with less than critical velocity/energy (Also if I'm assuming critical energy correctly). The loop can be of any size yet it must not exceed 5.7g at the entry...
  17. H

    Conservation of Energy for a roller coaster

    Homework Statement If it can be assumed that the car has the same speed at points A and E, which of the following statements is true? a. The net work done in this system is 0 b. The net work done in this system is positive c. The net work done in this system is negative d. The net work done in...
  18. Schaus

    Roller Coaster Physics: Calculating Energy, Speed, and Force

    Homework Statement Jessie (m=56.2 kg) is traveling at a speed of 12.8 m/s at the top of a 19.5-m high roller coaster loop. a) Assuming negligible losses of energy due to friction and air resistance, determine Jessie's total mechanical energy at the bottom of the loop (h=0 m). (ans: 1.53 x 104...
  19. J

    Minimum safe height for a roller coaster

    Homework Statement Based on the height of a first hill (114.5m), mathematically determine the minimum height (circular motion and radius) of the next hill based on the speed generated on the first hill. At the bottom of the first hill, the velocity of the roller coaster is 47.38m/s. There is...
  20. R

    Roller coaster physics conceptual question

    Homework Statement For my high school physics class we made roller coasters out of card stock with various loops and funnels. We then had multiple questions to answer. I couldn't seem to figure this one out. Why does the power have to be found at the bottom of the loop? Explain in terms of...
  21. N

    Roller coaster for a golf ball

    I have to make a roller coaster for a golf ball. It has to be made out of recycled materials. This also means no materials for construction (but chicken wire is allowed) and no prefabricated materials (Legos, Kenex, etc) 2 loops, 2 hills. Each hill has to be 20 cm height change. Can anyone...
  22. L

    Minimum Speed for a Roller-Coaster Car to Complete a Loop without Seat Belts

    In an amusement park, the new roller-coaster ride The Loopy Looper is com- posed of a number of full loops, where the car goes round upside down. The car is attached to the track, but there are no seat belts. Consider one such loop, which can be taken as a circle with radius r. The mass of the...
  23. JustinT

    A different type of roller coaster loop problem

    Homework Statement A roller coaster at the nearby amusement park Physics Hill, has a large circular loop where cars travel at the top of the loop at 25.0 m/s causing the riders to enjoy an acceleration of 3g. Assuming the height of this loop is the same as the diameter, how high is the loop...
  24. H

    F = ma equations for circular movement (roller coaster)

    Homework Statement Come up with expressions for centripetal acceleration at the top of the small hump and the bottom of the loop. (this is one substep in a larger problem) Homework Equations f = ma The Attempt at a Solution Taking down to be negative, I believe that the f = ma equation at...
  25. J

    Engineering Water ride / roller coaster designer?

    What major would you study for a job like that, I'm hoping for someone to say structural/ civil/ architectural engineering because that's what I'm looking into but I've heard that its more mechanical or electrical engineering.
  26. R

    What is the minimum kinetic energy for this roller coaster ride?

    Homework Statement A rollercoaster has a loop with a radius of 12m. The coaster travels 50m and at point A, enters the loop. The average frictional force on the coaster is 40N. The mass of passenger is 50kg. What is the minimum kinetic energy required at point A to generate a velocity of 27m/s...
  27. T

    Finding centripedal acceleration with tangential acceleration

    Homework Statement I'm trying to find the centripedal acceleration of a roller coaster at a certain point in time from experimental data of acceleration in the X, Y, and Z directions. I do not know the velocity of the roller coaster, only the acceleration. Thank you! Homework Equations v^2/r...
  28. D

    Simulated circular motion on a roller coaster

    Homework Statement A roller coaster at the Six Flags Great America amusement park in Gurnee, Illinois, incorporates some clever design technology and some basic physics. Each vertical loop, instead of being circular, is shaped like a teardrop. The cars ride on the inside of the loop at the top...
  29. L

    Exploring the Roller Coaster Ride of LIGO Photons

    I am trying to understand how the photons in the LIGO beams behave when going along the "slopes" of the gravitational waves, in particular how the Shapiro delay gets factored into the resulting interference. To simplify the situation, suppose that a LIGO photon starts orthogonally to a wave...
  30. M

    Roller coaster - uniform circular motion

    Hi, I have been studying up on circular motion in the vertical plane and I am happy with all the math/theory that I have read explaining the normal force and weight force and the feeling of being "heavier" and "lighter". My question is about the top of the hill/ride, The forces acting on you at...
  31. L

    Friction between roller coaster and track

    Homework Statement A roller coaster is going down on a track (see image below, the track itself is highlighted in red) without initial velocity. What is the coefficient of friction between the roller coaster and the track? height at which the cart starts (h) = 12m weight of the car (m) = 620kg...
  32. Rumplestiltskin

    Roller Coaster Physics: How to Calculate Maximum Velocity on a Horizontal Plane

    Homework Statement [/B] b) Calculate the maximum velocity of the empty carriage at D. (3 marks) Homework Equations /[/B] The Attempt at a Solution 750 x 9.8 = 7350 N No clue. Can't use SUVAT on the vertical plane to find time because v = u = 0 from peak/trough to peak/trough. Horizontal...
  33. L

    Safe speeds in roller coasters

    From my research and understanding of roller coasters, their speed is mainly impacted by the force of gravity and it works on the basis of potential energy build up into kinetic energy. Therefore, my question surrounds the idea of safe speeds on coasters. Because a roller coaster car is only...
  34. M

    Block and spring on a weird track (roller coaster)

    Homework Statement A block of mass m = 1.5 kg is launched from point A with speed VA = 12 m / s, in the circuit shown in Figure 4. If we assume that there is no friction determine: a) the speed of the block when it reaches the point C; Drawing of the problem: http://i.imgur.com/TrcMJ5I.png...
  35. C

    Determining speed and height on a roller coaster

    Homework Statement One car (m=80.0 kg) tracks through the roller coaster in the following diagram. As it passes point A, it has a speed of 50.0 cm/s. a) Determine the speed at points B, C, and E b) If the speed at point D is _______, determine it's height (ignore friction) Homework...
  36. J

    Centripetal force roller coaster problem

    Homework Statement A roller coaster car has a mass of 500 kg when fully loaded with passengers.(a)If the vehicle has a speed of 20.0 m/s at point A, what is the force exerted by the track on the car at this point?(b)What is the maximum speed the vehicle can have at B and still remain on the...
  37. N

    How Fast Will the Roller Coaster Car Be at the Top of the Loop?

    Homework Statement At one point in a roller-coaster, a single 300 kg car goes around a vertical, circular loop with a diameter of 24 m. It enters the loop at the bottom with a speed of 20 m/s. What will its speed be at the top? Homework Equations Kinetic Energy = 1/2mv^2 Gravitational Energy =...
  38. F

    Conservation of Mechanical Energy on a Roller Coaster

    Homework Statement A roller coaster at an amusement park is at rest on top of a 30 m hill (point A). The car starts to roll down the hill and reaches point B which is 10 m above the ground, and then rolls up the track to point C, which is 20 m above the ground. (A) A student assumes no energy...
  39. C

    Constant g roller coaster loops

    I was reading this interesting article on different varieties of roller coaster loops, and I know nothing about calculus or ODEs, but I was wondering what the constant-g loop in section 3.2 would actually look like for some typical initial velocity. Is it conceivably possible for a rider to...
  40. R

    Roller Coaster Loop: Solve for Height and Motion

    Homework Statement Hi, I am stuck on this thought experiment: A roller coaster of mass m starts on a inclined plane at a certain height, and then enters a circular loop, with radius r. At what height, h on the plane, must the trolley start in order to stop at the exact top of the loop...
  41. R

    Constant Breaking force for roller coaster

    I really don't understand this: Consider a frictionless, 12000-kg roller coaster that starts at rest at the top of a hill, point A, 95 m high. It goes all the way the 75 degree steep hill and coasts horizontally (for an unspecified distance) before reaching point B (0 m high). The entire ride...
  42. N

    Discover the Theory Behind Roller Coaster Toys and Satisfy Your Curiosity

    What theory is used in roller coaster toy?? Can someone explain fully for me? Thanks!
  43. G

    JollyOlly's book 'A Roller Coaster Ride through Relativity'

    I'm concerned about your book. I got up to this part: And I got very concerned. Although what you say is true, the fact that you put the last part of the quote in a box, like you did for what you called the Fundamental Principle and its restated version, gave me the impression that you...
  44. P

    Max Velocity and Height of Roller Coaster Track

    Homework Statement A man starts riding on a frictionless roller coaster track at initial velocity v_{o}. At point A the radius of the bend is r. a) What is the maximum v_{o} such that when the cart gets at point A it stays on the track? b) Using you answer in a) what should h' be such that...
  45. M

    Roller coaster without gravity

    Homework Statement A roller coaster is designed in an area of the park that is gravity-less. The roller coaster will accelerate a cart with a total mass of 10kg, from the initial position as shown in the figure to point A. After passing through point A, the cart will no longer speed up and...
  46. O

    Solving Roller Coaster Physics Problems - Centripetal Force/Acceleration

    Hello, When doing simple physics problems involving roller coasters, I'm having trouble finding the centripetal force/acceleration. When the object is at the bottom of the loop, I understand the centripetal acceleration relies on the normal force. However, when the object is at the top...
  47. B

    How do I calculate g-forces on a roller coaster?

    Homework Statement I have constructed a small scale roller coaster for my physics class. I was given the task of finding a track design with a safe and enjoyable ride. For times sake I plan to simply calculate the changes in g-force. I am using a hotwheels car and plastic track. I simply need...
  48. N

    Does a roller coaster have both kinetic and potential energy at every point?

    Hi, I am calculating energy (if there were to be no energy lost due to friction, etc) for this roller coaster. I understand that at point A there is only GPE and that at point E there is only KE. I was wondering if there would be both KE and GPE at point B and C. Would there be both KE and...
  49. S

    How Does Roller Coaster Design Affect Cart Speeds at Loop Apex?

    Homework Statement Consider a roller coaster with length = 10m and mass 4000kg consisting of 5 identical carts. Ignore the length of the connector between the carts. Suppose the rolercoaster is on a track where it loses energy at a rate of 1300 J/m. The rollercoaster approaches a loop with a...