Physics 173 Internet Question of the Week

The Questions

April 20 - April 24, 1998

Question #1 (2 pts.):

This week's Internet search question of the week pertains to the topic of roller coasters. You will do a web search to find some statistics for a roller coaster and then conduct an energy analysis with the statistics which you find. You are searching for information on the height of initial drop (sometimes stated as vertical drop distance) and greatest speed. To find the site, either use a major search engine (HotBot, Lycos, Alta Vista, Excite, Dogpile, etc.) or the annotated links from a GBS Roller Coaster Projects page.

Once you have found a site stating the above statistics, do the following:

  1. Identify the URL (address) of the page upon which you found the information.
  2. Describe the search path which you took to find the page (see example description).
  3. Answer the following questions:
    1. State the name and the location of the roller coaster (e.g., The Demon, Gurnee, IL)
    2. State the initial height and convert to units of meters.
    3. State the greatest speed and convert to units of m/s.
    4. Use energy principles to determine the percentage of energy lost in the first drop (assuming that the greatest speed is the speed at the bottom of the first drop). ("No, you really do not need to know the mass of the coaster car to do this calculation - I'm certain.") PSYW
    5. Carefully construct a work-energy bar chart for the motion of the coaster car from the top of the first drop to the bottom of the first drop.


Question #2 (1 pt.):

Determine the power rating of a motor required to elevate a 2000-kg roller coaster car at constant speed to the height of the initial drop along an incline of 26-degrees if the lifting process takes 47 seconds and the initial height is 47 meters (neglect dissipative forces). PSYW


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