The Physics of Roller Coasters<br />By Joshua Coyston<br />
How roller coasters complete<br />their circuits<br /><ul><li>‘Gravity’ is said to be the reason why roller coasters complete their circuits, but this isn’t technically true.</li></ul>A lift hill moves the car / train up, increasing the gravitational potential energy (GPE). The car then gains kinetic energy as it loses gravitational potential energy. This conservation of energy explains why a standard roller coaster can never go higher than the height of its lift.<br />
Launch Roller Coasters<br /><ul><li>Launch roller coasters are very different though; they have no form of lift to gain energy.
Hydraulic systems are most commonly used for launch roller coasters, as they provide a constant acceleration during the entire launch. They usually require 8 pumps of approx. 500 horsepower to launch.
Some roller coasters use LIM/LSM launch systems, which is where the train is propelled by electromagnets. This creates a very quick acceleration.</li></ul>Hydraulic Motor<br />
Circular Motion<br /><ul><li>When roller coasters are being designed, safety is of upmost importance. When looking at aspects such as vertical loops and such, circular motion is most commonly taken into account.
Z =(X2+Y2) = [(14.375)2 + (14.375)2] = 20.329</li></ul>A=23m<br />Z m<br />So, d=20.329m r=10.165m.<br />Given that T5s:<br />X m<br />Y m<br />V=(2*10.165)/5<br />V=12.8 m/s or 28.6 mph (3sf) <br />B m<br />
The Clothoid Loop<br />The Clothoid Loop, commonly known as ‘The loop-the-loop’ or a ‘Vertical Loop’, was first used on a roller coaster in 1975 and was designed by Werner Stengel. The main reason for this is because the circular loop causes much higher G-Forces on the body.<br />
The Curious Case of Saw’s Differing Radii<br />Red Line – How the track is.<br />Green line – How the should be to prevent a ‘bump’.<br />