Physics 173 Internet
Question of the Week
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
Dogpile, etc.) or the
annotated links from a
Roller Coaster Projects page.
Once you have found a site stating the above statistics, do the
- Identify the URL (address) of the page upon which
you found the information.
- Describe the search path which you took to find the page
(see example description).
- Answer the following questions:
- State the name and the location of the roller
coaster (e.g., The Demon, Gurnee, IL)
- State the initial height and convert to units of meters.
- State the greatest speed and convert to units of m/s.
- 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.")
- 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).
South Physics Team -
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Page Maintained by: Tom Henderson
Last Updated: April 20, 1998