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Homework Help: Vertical Drop rides at amusement parks

  1. May 18, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Has anyone ever been on one of these. (I admit I have always been too chicken.) Can anyone explain to me what was felt at the bottom of the first drop and the physics why that was so. Also, estimate the time when the car began to slow down as a fraction of the total height.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. May 18, 2010 #2
    Are you asking us to do your homework for you? lol Why don't you tell us what you think someone feels if they are falling vertically at a very high speed then suddenly come to a stop, or change directions.
  4. May 18, 2010 #3
    This is part of a six flags packet I'm supposed to do (and we actually went to six flags to do it), but I don't very well see how to answer the question without actually having gone on the ride. The way I word the question has nothing to do with it. Can you help me or not?
  5. May 18, 2010 #4


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    You went to Six Flags and bypassed the 'loop the loop' coaster? You missed a treat. The coaster is shaped in such a way that at the bottom of the drop as you change direction, the 'G' forces acting on you are kept to a reasonable level to avoid any potential for blackouts. You might want to consider the Physics as to what causes these G forces. I don't recall feeling much of anything last time I rode it, it just made me feel heavier I guess, it happens so fast. Coming down is the worst part , being somewhat weightless on the descent with that 'stomach in your throat' feeling (that I believe the astronauts also get when in apparent weightlessness in orbit, a feeling that quickly goes away once they adjust to the zero G state). Then there's Disney's 'Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ' ride, pure free fall and then some, as the ride initially accelerates downward greater than the acceleration of gravity, causing you to be slightly lifted off your seat at the initial drop. Again the 'drop' is worse than the 'stop', which although abrupt, is nonetheless controlled to to prevent high forces from being imposed upon you.
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