Roller coaster work gravitational energy.

• tebes
In summary, the frictionless roller coaster car with a mass of 954 kg and initial speed of 24.2 m/s at a height of 30.8 m does not require the inclusion of kinetic energy when calculating the change in gravitational potential energy. Therefore, the work done by the gravitational force from point A to point A is zero.

Homework Statement

a frictionless roller coaster car of mass m = 954 kg tops the first hill with speed v0 = 24.2 m/s at height h = 30.8 m. How much work does the gravitational force do on the car from that point to (a) point A. (same height)

The Attempt at a Solution

One question is baffling me, do I need to include kinetic energy when calculating using the change of gravitational potential energy? Does it mean that question (a), work does by the gravitational force is zero ?

tebes said:
One question is baffling me, do I need to include kinetic energy when calculating using the change of gravitational potential energy?
No.
Does it mean that question (a), work does by the gravitational force is zero ?
That's what I would say. Going from one point to another of equal height, the change in gravitational PE (and thus the work done by gravity) is zero.

1. How does a roller coaster work?

A roller coaster works by converting potential energy (stored energy) into kinetic energy (energy of motion). The coaster car is pulled up to the top of the first hill, gaining potential energy. When it is released, gravity pulls it down the hill, converting the potential energy into kinetic energy. The coaster then continues to move through the track, converting between potential and kinetic energy as it goes up and down the hills.

2. What is gravitational energy?

Gravitational energy is the energy an object possesses due to its position in a gravitational field. It is calculated by multiplying the mass of the object by the acceleration due to gravity and the height of the object from the ground. In the case of a roller coaster, the gravitational energy comes from the height of the coaster car at the top of the hills.

3. How is gravitational energy related to roller coasters?

Roller coasters use gravitational energy as the main source of power. The higher the coaster car is lifted, the more potential energy it has, and the faster it will go when it is released. This allows for a thrilling and exciting ride as the coaster car moves through the track, converting between potential and kinetic energy.

4. Can gravitational energy be manipulated on a roller coaster?

Yes, gravitational energy can be manipulated on a roller coaster by changing the height and steepness of the hills. Higher and steeper hills will result in more potential energy, while lower and less steep hills will result in less potential energy. Designers of roller coasters use this manipulation to create different levels of excitement and intensity for riders.

5. What safety measures are in place to ensure the gravitational energy on a roller coaster is controlled?

Roller coasters have a variety of safety measures in place to ensure that the gravitational energy is safely controlled. These can include safety restraints such as lap bars and seat belts, as well as braking systems and emergency shutdown procedures. Roller coasters also undergo regular maintenance and safety checks to ensure that their gravitational energy is properly controlled and maintained.