The roller coaster cars plummet on a foot drop, providing an instant adrenalin rush to riders. Roller coaster designers use their knowledge of biology, physics and psychology to create safe, yet exciting rides. Next time you board a roller coaster with your friends, educate and thrill them with a few scientific facts. G-Force Facts G-force is the force of gravity upon a body as it accelerates.
Converting Potential Energy to Kinetic Energy www. A fresh, sharp blade will make cutting the insulation easier. Do your background research so that you are knowledgeable about the terms, concepts, and questions, above.
Cut the foam pipe insulation in half the long way to make two U-shaped channels. The illustration below shows the foam pipe insulation, end-on. The illustration above shows the cross-section at one end of the foam pipe insulation The insulation comes with one partial cut along the entire length.
Complete this cut with the utility knife yellow circle in the illustration above. Make a second cut on the other side of the tube yellow line in the illustration abovealong the entire length of the tube. You can use masking tape to attach pieces end-to-end to make the roller coaster track as long as you want.
To make a roller coaster track, tape two or more lengths of the foam U-channel together, end-to-end. The joint between the two pieces should be as smooth as possible.
You can add curves, loops, and additional uphill and downhill sections. The illustration below shows two examples. The illustration above shows two different roller coaster tracks for marbles. How much height is needed at the starting point in order for the marble to loop the loop?
A good way to do this is to interrupt the foam track and direct the marble along a smooth, level surface e. Support the Masonite V with cardboard, beanbags, etc.
Use the stopwatch to measure the time it takes for the marble to travel a certain length along the Masonite track. Measure the height of the starting point for the track. Measure the mass of the marble. Calculate the gravitational potential energy of the marble at the starting point.
Run a single marble down the track 10 separate times. For each run, use your striped measuring stick and stopwatch to measure the velocity of the marble as it completes the track.
Calculate the average of your 10 measurements. More advanced students should also calculate the standard deviation. From your velocity measurement and the mass of the marble, calculate the kinetic energy of the marble.
Repeat the velocity measurement at various points on the track by cutting the track and allowing the marble to continue on in a straight line on a smooth surface.
Use your striped measuring stick and stopwatch to measure the velocity of the marble. If you like this project, you might enjoy exploring these related careers: Virtually every object that you see around you has passed through the hands of a mechanical engineer.
Consequently, their skills are in demand to design millions of different products in almost every type of industry. Read more Mechanical Engineering Technician You use mechanical devices every day—to zip and snap your clothing, open doors, refrigerate and cook your food, get clean water, heat your home, play music, surf the Internet, travel around, and even to brush your teeth.
Virtually every object that you see around has been mechanically engineered or designed at some point, requiring the skills of mechanical engineering technicians to create drawings of the product, or to build and test models of the product to find the best design.
Read more Variations Here are just a few of many possible variations on this project. Perhaps these will stimulate your thoughts about other experiments you could try: How much kinetic energy is required for various track features?
For example, how much kinetic energy is required for a marble to successfully navigate a loop in the track? You can expand the experiment by building a set of roller coaster tracks with various loop sizes. How does the kinetic energy requirement change when the loop diameter increases?
How does the kinetic energy requirement change when the loop diameter decreases?A roller coaster demonstrates kinetic energy and potential energy. A marble at the top of the track has potential energy.
When the marble rolls down the track, the potential energy is transformed into kinetic energy. Real roller coasters use a motor to pull cars up a hill at the beginning of the ride.
This document was prepared by the Massachusetts Department of Education Dr. David P. Driscoll, Commissioner be one goal of science education. elementary grades, coursework should integratemajor domains of science and technologybuild a simple roller coaster for a marble or64 Massachusetts Science and Technology aerospace engineer engine: .
The roller coaster is a great example of conversions between potential energy (stored energy) and kinetic energy (the energy of motion).
As the cars are being pulled up . Mar 18, · Search and print out interesting images figure skaters, roller coasters, and other examples of reduced friction.
Also, take your own photographs throughout the course of the experiment.
Build a track with raised sides (or use an existing track if you have one that works) Secure magnets to the track, so all polarities match/5(49). Roller coasters are driven almost entirely by basic inertial, gravitational and centripetal forces, all manipulated in the service of a great ride.
Amusement parks keep upping the ante, building faster and more complex roller coasters, but the fundamental principles at work remain basically the same. You can investigate the conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy with this project. You'll use foam pipe insulation (available at your local hardware store) to make a roller coaster track.
For the roller coaster itself, you'll use marbles.