# Roller coaster free body diagrams

• souljaxd
In summary, the conversation is about an 8th grader's homework assignment to draw free body diagrams for a roller coaster on inclines, straightaways, and the bottom of the hill. The focus is on the people riding the car rather than the car itself. The person has researched about free body diagrams and identified the forces acting on the coaster and passengers, including f-gravity, f-normal, f-applied, and f-friction. It is noted that there is no applied force except when the coaster is being pulled up an incline.
souljaxd

## Homework Statement

so I am a 8th grader and i got a homework asignment to draw free body diagrams of a roller coaster on inclines, straight aways and bottom of the hill. we didnt learn about physics yet so here's the question

- draw and label free body diagrams for the coaster car on inclines, staright aways and bottom of the hill. don't focuz on the coaster car, but the people riding the car.

## The Attempt at a Solution

i researched about free body diagrams and roller coasters. all i have now for the straight away is , f-gravity, f-normal, f - applied, and f- friction

souljaxd said:
i researched about free body diagrams and roller coasters. all i have now for the straight away is , f-gravity, f-normal, f - applied, and f- friction
Other than when the coaster ( and passengers) are being pulled up the incline by a chain mechanism or other means, there is no applied force; otherwise you have correctly identified the other forces acting for the straightway. These are the same type of forces which act when the coaster or passsengers are at the bottom, or on an incline. What are the direction of these forces?

. for the incline, i have f-gravity, f-normal, f-applied, and f-friction. For the bottom of the hill, i have f-gravity, f-normal, and f-applied.

I am glad to see that you are interested in learning about free body diagrams and their application to roller coasters. Free body diagrams are a visual representation of all the forces acting on an object, and they are a helpful tool in understanding the physics of a roller coaster ride.

For the straightaway section of the roller coaster, you are correct in identifying the four main forces acting on the people riding the car: f-gravity, f-normal, f-applied, and f-friction. F-gravity, or the force of gravity, is always acting downwards on the people due to the Earth's gravitational pull. F-normal, or the normal force, is the force exerted by the seat on the people and is always perpendicular to the surface of the seat. F-applied, or the applied force, is the force exerted by the seat belt or harness on the people. Finally, f-friction, or the force of friction, is the force that opposes the motion of the people and is caused by the contact between the seat and the people.

For the incline section of the roller coaster, the same four forces are still acting on the people, but their magnitudes may change. F-gravity will still be acting downwards, but its magnitude may be less due to the angle of the incline. F-normal will now be at an angle to the surface of the seat, but its magnitude will remain the same. F-applied will also be at an angle, but its magnitude may increase due to the people being pushed back into their seats as the car goes up the incline. F-friction will also change in magnitude, as it is now acting in the opposite direction of the motion of the people.

At the bottom of the hill, the people will experience a change in forces as well. F-gravity will still be acting downwards, but its magnitude may increase due to the acceleration of the coaster car as it goes down the hill. F-normal will still be perpendicular to the surface of the seat, but its magnitude may decrease as the car goes over the hill. F-applied will also decrease in magnitude, as the people are no longer being pushed back into their seats. F-friction may also decrease, as it is

## 1. What is a free body diagram for a roller coaster?

A free body diagram for a roller coaster is a simplified sketch that shows all the forces acting on the roller coaster car at a particular point in time. It is used to analyze the motion and forces of the roller coaster.

## 2. How do you draw a free body diagram for a roller coaster?

To draw a free body diagram for a roller coaster, start by identifying all the forces acting on the roller coaster car, such as gravity, normal force, friction, and air resistance. Then, draw a dot to represent the roller coaster car and draw arrows to represent each force, with the direction of the arrow indicating the direction of the force.

## 3. What is the purpose of a free body diagram for a roller coaster?

The purpose of a free body diagram for a roller coaster is to simplify the analysis of the motion and forces acting on the roller coaster car. It allows scientists and engineers to better understand and predict the behavior of the roller coaster.

## 4. How does the shape of a roller coaster affect its free body diagram?

The shape of a roller coaster can affect its free body diagram by changing the direction and magnitude of the forces acting on the roller coaster car. For example, a loop or a steep drop may result in a greater normal force, while a curved track may result in a greater centripetal force.

## 5. Can a roller coaster have multiple free body diagrams?

Yes, a roller coaster can have multiple free body diagrams at different points along the track. This is because the forces acting on the roller coaster car may change as it moves along the track, and a different free body diagram is needed to accurately represent the forces at each point.

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