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# Laws of Physics That Apply to Roller Coasters

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The roller coaster has its beginning in Russia, where people applied in different ways during the 1600’s. People crafted slides made out of wood and went to the hills with sand where it could help them slowdown when they reach the downhill. This topic discussed in the essay is all about how these laws of physics apply to its design and the action of the roller coaster. Nowadays people in developed countries develop a mentality that if an entertainment park does not have a roller coaster, it is not an entertainment park to them. Some individuals enjoy the activities in the entertainment parks, but they do not know that it is applied through physics.

The following laws apply to roller coasters. First is Newton’s first law of motion, which states that a body which is at rest or at a uniform motion it remains at rest unless acted upon by a resultant force. Second is Newton’s second law of motion, according to which the rate of change of momentum is directly proportional to the resultant force (F=ma). And third is Newton’s third law of motion, according to which the two forces are equal and opposite direction which is action and reaction force.

The concept of motion in a roller coaster is very essential. Most of the roller coasters are started by a hydraulic push at the start. Once the roller coaster is climbing a slope which brings it on top of the hill and at the first downward slope. The roller coaster is driven by gravity because it does not contain engines. When the roller coaster is climbing the hill, it moves at a minimal velocity, but at the lowest part of the slope is at its maximum velocity. When the roller coaster is speeding up or slowing down, it is said to be decelerating or accelerating. When a roller coaster is climbing uphill, it experiences deceleration and when it goes downhill, it is said to be accelerating because it will attain its highest velocity. Nevertheless, if the velocity is rather low and the flows regime is laminar, therefore drag force is proportional to the velocity instead of the quadratic of velocity. It is recommended to recognize if the flow is turbulent or laminar is apply the best equation: in a laminar regime the air flows in parallel layers, but in a turbulent flow eddies and cross currents appear.

When the roller coaster is moving at a loop, it experiences a centripetal force which is as a result of a body in inertia, or resistance to change in direction, as the object moves in a circular path. The track’s curve prevents the body from going the straight line it applies the force to the center of the circle, which forces it to move in a circular path. The centripetal force points to the center of the circle, but a roller coaster rider feels being pushed to the outer edge. This is known as inertia. The formula below is used: acceleration=velocity squared divide by radius. This shows that two roller coasters entering two loops of different sizes at the same velocity will experience different acceleration forces. At the top of the loop the forces acceleration pushes the passenger off the seat toward the center of the loop, while inertia pushes the passenger back into the seat

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If the shape of the curve in a looping roller coaster one will notice that it is not a perfect circle. The shape formed is known as a clothoid loop, which was described mathematically by a genius known as Leonard Euler of Switzerland in the 18th century. Recently are the roller coaster engineers realized that it was the perfect shape for achieving the long sought-after goal of the roller coaster somersault.

There are forces that are experienced in a roller coaster. Friction is a force that acts on the opposite direction of a body; it is a force that acts between two surfaces in contact. One of them is the frictional forces which acts between the materials. Some energy in a roller coaster it is turned to friction. The roller coaster designers know that there is friction, so they make each successive hill lower so that it will be able to move on the top of the hill. There are forces experienced in a roller coaster, and keeping these within safe values in a vital skill for roller coaster designers. The gravitational force is also considered to be at a safe level, so that it does not harm people. It is proven that the effect of friction in a roller coaster is the heat that it is released, especially when applying the brakes. This is evident to the roller coasters.

Weightlessness it is in the absence of the reaction force a person will sink through the ground. Many park rides generate the weightless sensation by accelerating down at close to 22mph every second. Gravity and gravitational acceleration forces to push the passenger in opposite directions with nearly equal force, creating a sensation of weightlessness.

A roller coaster mostly started as a chain, a motor or any other mechanical device which exerts a force on the train to lift the train to the top of the hill, where force of gravity takes over to finish the ride. Work is usually done if a chain pulled by a motor, it pulls the roller coaster up to the top of a hill on the rail. It takes work to lift a roller coaster to pull it to the top. The law of conservation of energy states that sum of the Kinetic energy is equal to the potential energy; it establishes that the amount of mechanical energy of an object is kept constant. A roller coaster when it is uphill is at its maximum potential energy, and its lowest point it is at its maximum kinetic energy, and vice versa. The importance of the first hill in a roller coaster is to build potential energy that will be converted to kinetic energy. It should be noted that the first hill is the tallest in most of the roller coaster in the entire rail. Because the mass of the train is constant, when the train goes to the lowest downhill slope the kinetic energy is the most because of its maximum velocity. The process of changing kinetic energy to potential energy back to kinetic energy continues with each hill.

In conclusion, there are very many machines and objects used in the world are made under the application of physics. There are others which are upcoming from the field of physicians and very able and determined engineers. This means that the field of physics is expanding very quickly, theories and discoveries are coming up each and every day. Concepts and principles of physics really apply in any body in motion. Finally, in the roller coaster it has to be improved to reduce the level of problems that turnabout when a person dies in a roller coaster.

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Laws of Physics That Apply to Roller Coasters. (2023, September 08). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 1, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/laws-of-physics-that-apply-to-roller-coasters/
“Laws of Physics That Apply to Roller Coasters.” Edubirdie, 08 Sept. 2023, edubirdie.com/examples/laws-of-physics-that-apply-to-roller-coasters/
Laws of Physics That Apply to Roller Coasters. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/laws-of-physics-that-apply-to-roller-coasters/> [Accessed 1 Dec. 2023].
Laws of Physics That Apply to Roller Coasters [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Sept 08 [cited 2023 Dec 1]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/laws-of-physics-that-apply-to-roller-coasters/
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