Roller coaster Definition and 9 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.

View More On
  1. 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...
  2. 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...
  3. Ryan Saunders

    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...
  4. L

    Roller-coaster problem

    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...
  5. 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...
  6. 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...
  7. 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...
  8. 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...
  9. 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...