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Physics in Roller Coasters



We can see physics in almost every roller coaster, but the ones that get really interesting are the ones that go upside down because those involve centripetal forces, a key term for physics studies. The period of the roller coaster is the amount of time it takes to complete one "loopty-loop", or one full revolution and can be modeled by T=t/revs. You could also figure out the number of full revolutions the roller coaster could make in one second using the formula f=1/t, which looks very similar to the last equation. Also, while the car is going around the track, a person could determine the roller coasters circular speed, or velocity using the equation v=2pir/T, and its centripetal acceleration, ac=v^2/r. So, the next time you go to Seabreeze, think about all the science you know that goes behind the scenes in making your favorite roller coasters.


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