How do the laws of physics apply to design and action of a roller coaster?
We are living in the century where our lives are strongly connected to technology and science.Physics is related to everyday life,we can not separate it from science or disconnect our world from laws of physics. In short, physics define how everything works around us.For instance everybody love to go to the amusement parks and try the rides that are available.The most popular and thrilling drive is the roller coaster.Roller coaster is one of the most complicated mechanism. Roller coasters are driven by physics,starting from friction,momentum,gravtitational force to end up with coversion of kinetic energy to gravitational potential energy or vice versa. There should be a harmony between possibilities and limitations of roller coasters within the context of energy conservation,friction losses and other physics loses.The aim of my assignment is to demonstrate and explain the physics behind the design and action of the roller coaster by looking at the importance of every aspect of physics effecting roller coaster’s successive ride.
Part of the physics of a roller coaster is the physics of work and energy. The start of ride is enabled by a chain , motor or other mechanical device ,which excerts a force to lift the train to the top of the very high hill.At the moment this force is applied to the roller coaster ,the train starts moving in the same direction of force,which means that work is done. Based on physics laws work is done when the point of a force is moved in the direction of the force : work done = force x distance moved by the force in the direction of the force ( W=F x d ) where work is measured in joules (J) ,force in Newtons (N) and distance in metres(m).
Most of the amusement park rides involve acceleration,which is defined as rate of change in velocity (ms-2). Whether the roller coaster is slowing down,is speeding up or changing direction, it is accelerating.Acceleration or velocity is increased while passing in a downhill or in a sharp curve,while moving uphill or in a straight line,it may decrease its value.The gravitational force pulling the roller coaster down hill causes the increase in velocity, so it is accelerating or it causes a decrease in velocity which leads to deceleration.In addition acceleration depends on its mass and the strength of the force pushing or pulling it. Acceleration = rate of change in velocity ( a=v-ut ,where v is final velocity,u is initial velocity and t is time taken for the ride).
Energy is the ability of a body (in our situation the roller coaster) to do work.
Kinetic energy (KE) – the ability of an object to do work by virtue of its motion.
Potential energy (GPE)– is the ability of an object to do work by virtue of its position or state.
Law of Conservation of Energy – Energy can change from one form to another but cannot be created or destroyed.
KE = m v22 (where m stands for mass and v for velocity).
GPE = mg?h (in which m stands for mass,g for gravitational field strength and h for height).
When you ride a roller coaster a motor does the work to get you up the first hill. As the coaster is being pulled up the hill by the motor it is gaining more and more potential energy. This potential energy is being converted slowly into kinetic energy as the roller coaster is going down to the hill.The ride goes fastest at the bottom of the hill because we are reaching the maximum local kinetic energy. As you go up to the next hill,kinetic energy is changed to potential energy.The same conversion of energy happens during all the ride of the roller coaster.The total energy does not change,it is just changed from one form to the other,where a small amount of this energy is been converted into heat and sound.
A roller coaster works because of two things: gravity and the law of conservation of energy. The most significant force that acts on a roller coaster is the force of gravity. Gravity is the force that pulls all objects in the universe toward one another.
To build a roller coaster it is very useful to identify the Newtons first,second and third law.
Newton’s first law of motion states if the resultant force acting on a body is zero, than the body will remain at rest or it will continue to move at constant velocity .This body must be in equilibrium.This tendency of objects to resist changes in motion is called inertia.
Newton’s second law of motion states that if the resultant force on a body is not zero then the body will accelerate in direction of force at a rate proportional to the resultant force ( a??Fm ) . The law goes on to say that the amount of acceleration depends on the mass of the object and the amount of force applied to it. A greater force applied to an object results in greater acceleration. Increases in mass result in less acceleration.Newton’s third law of motion states that for every force there is an equal and opposite force.If the roller coaster excerts a force on the ground ,also the ground excerts the same force toward the roller coaster.This force must be the same type ,in the same magnitude,with opposite directions ,along the same line.
During the ride of roller coaster another force celled loop centripetal force appears.This force causes the roller coaster to move in a circle.The tendency of gravity is to make the object go down the slide ,while centripetal force allow you to slide onward the curve.The roller coaster will act in the same form.There must be a force pointing inside the circle in order to have a successful ride, which is the centripetal force.
Have to work with look design and physics and weightness.Look design and physics
You must also decide on the size of the Loop. Much of the excitement around roller coaster rides centers on the ones that loop or go through a corkscrew. You experience not only the thrills of tremendous speed and falling from great heights, but also the exhilaration of being turned upside down in the process.
If you look at the shape of the curve in a looping roller coaster, you will see that it is not a circle but a teardrop shape. That shape is called a clothoid loop. It was first described by mathematical genius Leonard Eurler of Switzerland in the 18th century. Only G’sly did roller coaster engineers realize that it was the perfect shape for achieving the long sought after goal of the roller coaster somersault.
There are two ways to experience weightlessness. (1) Move far enough away from the planets and sun to where their pull is nearly zero. Gravity acts over infinite distance. One can never completely escape it. (2) Fall down at a rate equal to the pull of gravity. In other words, accelerate to the Earth speeding up 22 mph every second in the air. In order for a person to feel weight, a person must sense the reaction force of the ground pushing in the opposite direction of gravity.
In the absence of the reaction force a person will sink through the ground. Many amusement park rides generate the weightless sensation by accelerating down at close to 22 mph every second.
THINGS TO BE DONE :SAFETY