One of the most basic parts of a ride is going from the top of a
hill to the bottom. There are two basics ways designs transport
riders to the bottom of a hill. The first is called the "Speed
Run."
A speed run is designed to give the rider the feeling of
accelerating faster and faster without the feeling of weightlessness.
It simulates being in a powerful car with the accelerator held down
to the floor. It is a straight piece of track that connects a high
point to a low point. When coasting up to a new height the calculations are the same as
the example shown above. The shape of the hill does not matter. See
the Intro to Design
section, step 7, for an example of these up hill
calculations.
Now suppose the ball traveled off the table top on a shallow
angled ramp. It would look like the one below.
A straight, "speed run" drop does not match the fall of a rider
over a hill.
To give riding more of a thrill, the designer needs to design the
shape of the hill to match the falling ball.
The only problem with curve above is the impact with the floor. To
alleviate this problem another curve scoops the balls as they
descend. This makes the ride smooth and survivable for the rider. If you use or find this page useful or have any comments, please contact the author so maybe he'll do more. Author: Tony Wayne "ROLLER COASTER PHYSICS" TABLE OF CONTENTS ... PHYSICS PAVILION TABLE OF CONTENTS <--PREVIOUS SECTION ... NEXT SECTION --> |

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