 Materials

• lab handout (one per student)
• stopwatch (atleast one per computer)
• pencil and calculator

All movies use QuickTime 5.0. If you do not have QT 5.0 it can be downloaded here. QuickTime runs on both windows and macintosh computers.

How to estimate a roller coaster's speed at a distant location.

The measurements revolve around the three locations shown below. You will need to decide which locations can be used to answer the appropriate question.  Click on the appropriate QuickTime movie at the right to open and run the movie. You must choose which movie to open and view.

Ignore all frictional forces.

1. What is the train of car's total length?
2. Location "A" is at the top of the loop. What is the coaster's speed at location "A?"
3. Location "B" is just when the train exits the loop. What is the coaster's speed at location "B?"
4. What is the difference in height between locations "A" and "B" assuming no energy is added or removed from the ride between these locations?
5. If a rider feels a force factor of 1.80 g's at location "A," then what is the radius of curvature at location "A?"
6. Location "C" is around a curve somewhere after location "B". What is the speed at location "C?"
7. What is the difference in height between locations "A" and "C" assuming no energy is added or removed from the ride between these locations?
8. Location "D" is farther along the ride after location "C." What is the speed at location "D?"
9. What is the difference in height between locations "C" and "D" assuming no energy is added or removed from the ride between these locations?
10. If the radius of curvature is 7.0 meters at location "D," then what is the centripetal acceleration a this location?
11. How many g's of acceleration does a rider feel at location "D" ?    