# How to calculate theoretical values for a ride?

Tags:
1. Mar 2, 2015

### charlotteyip

Hi,
I've done a prac at school where we had to take an accelerometer onto a ride and obtain a graph in at duration. However, the data I've obtained (Acceleration in X, Y Z and resultant) is experimental data. I need to calculate theoretical data for certain segments of the ride. Assuming that I know the height of each segment, is it possible to calculate theoretical data for this? I do not know the initial velocity or final velocity of any of the points. I do know the mass of the rollercoaster and its height from the ground.

Thanks in anticipation!

2. Mar 2, 2015

### Staff: Mentor

You'll need some initial conditions - a reasonable assumption might be a velocity of nearly zero at the top. Alternatively, take the initial value that gives the best theory/experiment agreement.
For a real roller coaster, you also have to consider friction.
And, assuming your roller coaster is not one-dimensional, you'll need all three coordinates for each point.