1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How to calculate theoretical values for a ride?

  1. Mar 2, 2015 #1
    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. jcsd
  3. Mar 2, 2015 #2


    User Avatar
    2017 Award

    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.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook