Essay about The Physics of Roller Coaster

1565 Words 7 Pages
i: Introduction You apprehensively walk up the iron steps and onto the platform. You’re reluctant to go any further, but your friend eggs you on, saying, “It’s not that fast.” You step into the seat and pull the harness down over you. No, this isn’t the latest, greatest technological frontier. It’s a roller coaster. Since 1804 when the first wheeled roller coaster- called “Les Montagnes Russes”- was constructed in Paris, France, roller coasters have been a staple of adventure and fantasy among children and children-at-heart. But there’s no magic involved with these fantastic creations, there’s a plethora of forces and laws governing their every movement. From kinetic energy to inertia, roller coasters are intricate engineering marvels …show more content…
The Belleville involved a half-moon track and a car that had its axle fit into the side of the track. It used the principles of kinetic and potential energy to move it down- and then back up- the track. The roller coaster industry continued to improve, with the “loop-de-loop” being introduced in 1846 in Paris, France. Across the world in America, coasters such as the Mauch Chunk Switchback Railway began sprouting up each day. The roller coaster industry in America reached its peak in the mid-1920s with the boom of amusement parks in America. At this time, there were a whopping 2,000 roller coasters- or 1 for every 53000 citizens- in operation in the America. These period coasters followed many of the same principles as the Belleville but became much more advanced as the ride progressed with added elements such as increased length, loop-de-loops, and corkscrews. Today, the quantity of roller coasters has decreased, to just over 634 roller coasters in the United States. However these coasters are technologically far superior to their predecessors, featuring elements such as “Vertical Drops”, “In and Outs”, and “Figure 8s.” While the classic Belleville stood at just 75 feet and reached speeds under 10km/h, coasters today such as the Bizarro stand at as much as 208 feet tall and reach speeds of over 123 km/h.

iii. The Physics Behind Roller Coasters Subsection a: Kinetic and Potential Energy Almost

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