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The Physics of roller coasters



With every fun activity comes physics! At any amusement park, physics is everywhere. When on a roller coaster, energy is changing all throughout.

When a roller coaster has come to the highest point on the tallest hill on the whole ride, the cart will have the greatest amount of potential energy. The potential energy equation is PE=mgh therefore, potential energy will always be greater when the roller coaster cart is higher. As the cart gains speed, its kinetic energy will increase. The kinetic Energy formula is KE=1/2mv^2. When the cart is at its lowest point on the track after coming down from a hill, it will have the greatest kinetic energy. While the potential energy and kinetic energy are constantly changing, the total mechanical energy always remains the same. Energy is just changed but is never lost.


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