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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


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    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.
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