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Roller Coaster Physics

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by

Amber Cole

on 6 May 2014

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Transcript of Roller Coaster Physics

Background Information
Examples of Energy Transformations
Law of Conservation of Energy
External Energies
Energy Transfer by Waves
Water can produce electricity. Water falls from the sky, converting potential energy to kinetic energy. This energy is then used to rotate the turbine of a generator to produce electricity. In this process, the potential energy of water in a dam can be turned into kinetic energy which can then become electric energy.
There is always friction (work done by object) in a mechanical system, therefore one must do work (provide an outside energy source) to "move" the object
There is a band playing live at a night show in an amusement park. A vibrating drum and a plucked guitar string transfer energy to the air as sound. Kinetic energy from the moving air molecules transfers the sound energy to your eardrum.
Comp 1- Energy Transformations
Roller Coaster Physics
The energy possessed by an object because of its motion

Kinetic Energy-
Potential Energy-
The energy an object has because of its position (in a gravitational or electric field) or its condition
Law of Conservation of Energy-
The law is defined as stating that the amount of energy
remains constant in an isolated system. This also states that energy cannot be created or even destroyed but it can transfer into different location or change its form
Roller Coasters Behind the Scenes
Kinetic Energy
Potential Energy
a), there is maximum potential energy because the train is as high as it gets. As the train starts down the hill, this potential energy is converted into kinetic energy -- the train speeds up.
b), there is maximum kinetic energy and little potential energy. The kinetic energy propels the train up the second hill

c)The kinetic energy propels the train up the second hill, building up the potential-energy level.

d) As the train enters the loop-the-loop (d), it has a lot of kinetic energy and not much potential energy.

e) The potential-energy level builds as the train speeds to the top of the loop, but it is soon converted back to kinetic energy as the train leaves the loop.

Calculations
Kinetic Energy= 1/2
m
v
^2

m- mass (KG)
v- velocity (m^2/s^2

Potential Energy=

m
g
h
m- mass (KG)
g- gravity (9.8 m/s^2)
h- height (meters)
Example:
A roller coaster cart of 3,000 KG is rolling down hill at 24.5 m/s. What is the kinetic energy?
K.E= 1/2
(3,000)
(24.5^2)
=
900,375J
Example:
What is the potential energy of a 4,500 kg roller coaster sitting at the top of a 120 meter high peek?
P.E=
(4,500)
(9.8 m/s^2)
(120)
=5,292,000J
The Sun shining on the pavement and is warmer during the day; preventing you from walking barefoot. This is because the thermal energy transferred from the sun is being absorbed by the ground making it warmer. Contrary, at night the sun starts to go down which means there is less thermal energy being absorbed and the ground is cooler.
Looking at this situation in reference to an amusement park, one can see that the electricity used to power the pulley that takes the cart to the top of the hill would not be able to make its way to the peek of the first hill without that electricity. If the energy used to rotate the turbine of a generator was "lost" there would be no transformation in which help power things such as the pulley.
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