Physics 173 Internet Question of the Week

The Questions

May 18 - May 22, 1998

Question #1:

This week's Internet search question of the week pertains to the topic of roller coasters. Use a major search engine (HotBot, Lycos, Alta Vista, Excite, Dogpile, etc.) to find a site titled Roller Coaster Physics by Tony Wayne. (If you still cannot find the page, you will likely find a link from a GBS page - visit the Project Corner, click Year-End Projects, click on the Physics of Roller Coasters, click on a page full of WWW links, and look for the Physics of Roller Coasters link.) This site is written by a high school physics teacher for high school physics students; it details the physics of roller coaster rides.

Once you have found the site, do the following (1.5 pt.):

  1. Identify the URL (address) of the page.
  2. Describe the search path which you took to find the page (see example description).
  3. Navigate to the page titled "Hills and Dips" and answer the following questions:
    1. Explain the connection between the experience of riders along roller coaster hills and projectile motion.
    2. In your own words, summarize the effects of a roller coaster hill's shape upon the feelings of weightlessness experienced by its riders.


Question #2:

An 80.0-kg physics student starts at a height of 38.0-meters and cruises over the crest of a 12.0-meter high hill. If the radius of the hill is approximated at 58.0 meters, then determine the speed and acceleration of the riders at the crest of the hill. (Assume negligible air resistance.) Construct a free body diagram of the rider at the crest of the hill (label the forces according to type) and calculate the magnitude of each individual force. (1.5 pt.) PSAYW







Return to:

Physics 173 EC

Physics 173 Page

Physics Home Page

Glenbrook South Physics Team - Tom Henderson, John Lewis, Neil Schmidgall, Dave Smith, Suzanne Webb,& Brian Wegley

4000 West Lake Ave
Glenview, IL 60025 - 1200
Page Maintained by: Tom Henderson
Last Updated: May 20, 1998