Glenbrook South Year-End Projects

The Physics of Roller Coasters

Internet Links

The following World Wide Web sites offer information relevant to your project. Depending on your particular research interest, some sites will obviously be more relevant than others. To optimize the efforts of your web search, each site has been described so that you might judge its usefulness in advance. As you proceed with your World Wide Web search, document your progress (both successes and failures) using the Web Site Trail sheet.


Roller Coasters:


Asked Questions

This site provides a database of information about roller coasters, including frequently-asked questions, coaster news, coaster definitions, design information, etc. This web page is organized around roller coaster themes - lists and statistics, books and magazines, images (which are excellent), links, etc. Use this page as a starting point for a Web search.





Coasterville University is an extensive web site focusing on some educational aspects of roller coasters. An entire section of their site focuses on the history of roller coasters. It is good information and does include some physics concepts. Another section of the site is concerned with the language of roller coasters. Finally, there are plans to add a third section to the university on the physics of roller coasters. As of this writing (2/27/98), no date for the physics section has been set. The university is part of a larger site which can be surveyed using the appropriate links to the Home page. For certain, this is a site worth visiting.


How Things Work




The author of the book "How Things Work" is now on-line with a helpful set of pages which utilize a Question-Answer format. The pages are organized according to topic - one of which is about roller coasters. The information is technical and very worthwhile. In addition to learning from already asked questions that others have posed, you might be able to ask him your own question and receive an answer; use an e-mail account from home to do so. This is definitely a site worth visiting.


World of Coasters

This is the World's premier roller coaster site. It contains a wealth of information, including news, reviews, frequently-asked questions, statistics, histories, etc. Spend some time on this page and use it as a starting point of a Web search. The page also includes a search button which allows for a search for information on a selected topic.


Tim Melago's

Directory of Coasters


This page lists an incredible number of links to roller coaster information. Many of the links lead to pages which are void of technical information.. Yet most of the links lead to pages with excellent graphics. Perhaps you can download some of the graphics for use on your oral presentation.


Coasters by

Ron Toomer


Ron Toomer is a very prominent roller coaster designers. This page lists his most popular roller coaster designs and provides links to information (and graphics) of his roller coasters. At the very least, you might want to download some of the graphics.


World Wide Guide

to Coasters


The world Wide Guide to Coasters, Parks, and Rides claims to be the most comprehensive roller coaster site in the world - and that's quite a claim. One section of their site is the Park and Ride Science section. This section details the physics of roller coaster rides. The site appears to still be in progress (as of 2/27/97); nonetheless, there is already a wealth of information on the physics of coasters. It is a very worthwhile site.



This is a growing site designed by a roller coaster enthusiast. There are links to roller coasters around the world, lists of videos and books about roller coasters, and some worthwhile images. The site seems to be under construction (as of this writing - 2/27/98) and thus would be worth a periodic re-visit to see if there is new information.





Roller Coaster




As of this writing (4/2/98), this is clearly the best site on the web to obtain information regarding the physics of roller coasters. The site is actually an on-line book on the topic. The book can be downoladed to your own computer and subsequently printed out (though reading online would help out the tree situation). The site was constructed by a high school physics teacher for both students and teacher. There are plentiful explanations of the physics found on coaster rides and also several suggested classroom activities. This is a must see.


Birket Engineering


Birket Engineering is a designer and manufacturer of roller coasters and other amusement park rides. They have a web site which is maintained primarily for commercial/business purposes. However, you will find that the "Links" page contins many links to potentially useful sites. Such sites include other engineering firms which make roller coaster rides, sites about roller coasters and roller coaster safety, and organizations which support or are somehow affiliated with roller coasters and amusement parks. As such, this page makes for a good starting point for conducting a web search. Finally, you might find that someone at Birket Engineering might be interested in colaborating with you on your project.



Ride Accidents


This page contains specific information about amusement park ride (indcluding roller coaster rides) saftey. There are multiple links from this page to associations, agencies, and other authorities which study, report on, gather statistics about, and regulate amusement parks and roller coaster safety issues.


Think Quest

Student Projects


Think Quest is a web project devoted to the use of internet technologies in education. They have provided a variety of links to numerous sites which pertain to projects of interest to physics teachers and students. On this page, you will find a couple of links to roller coaster sites which are worth visiting.


Rolling Ball

Sculpture Page


The Rolling Ball Sculpture page contains a lot of information which has little to do with roller coasters and mostly to do with art. Yet, tucked somewhere in the middle of the page, you will find several paragraphs pertaining to the physics of roller coasters. This makes it worth a visit.

Return to:

The Physics of Roller Coasters Project

Project Home Page

Coasters Project

Coasters Links

Basic Research Qs

Collabor'n Ideas

The Lab Report

Project Pitfalls

Scoring Rubrics

Project Timeline

Other GBS Resources

GBS Physics Page

Physics 163 Page

Physics Projects Home Page

The Refrigerator

The Physics Classroom

Multimedia Physics Studios

The GBS Physics staff invite you to send electronic mail:

Tom Henderson

Howard Jenewein

John Lewis

Neil Schmidgall

Dave Smith

Suzanne Webb

Brian Wegley

Questions and comments can be sent to Tom Henderson.

This page last updated on 4/2/98.