AiS Challenge Team Interim Report

Team Number: 36

School Name: Las Cruces High School

Area of Science: Physics

Project Title: Roller Coaster Physics



Problem: When designing falls or drops of a roller coaster, what must be done to ensure safety of the passengers and still have speed, fun, and give the passengers on the roller coaster pleasure of the ride and the feeling of weightlessness.

Purpose: This Project is designed to benefit many people. It is important to the passengers of roller coasters, because they need to feel and be safe. Also, the roller coaster needs to give a positive experience so people will ride it and the owners will make money. We also hope to learn about the physics of roller coasters and how they work.

Plan of Action: We plan to research physics and formulas related to roller coasters. We plan to design safe drops that will give riders the feeling of weightlessness. One way to do this is to shape the drop like the path of a ball thrown off the top of a hill. The shape at the bottom of the drop must be designed to "catch" the riders. This will change vertical motion to horizontal motion. We also plan to use C++ to design a program that will shape falls of a roller coaster and the motion at the bottom of the fall. Here is an equation for shaping the drops of roller coaster.

Progress: We Have Found multiple formulas including a formula for designing the shape of a drop on the roller coaster. We have begun experimenting with C++ in order to write a program that will determine the shape of a drop given variables such as velocity at the top of the hill and height. We have also done further research of roller coasters and better understand them. Last, we have updated our abstract.

These are sites that have information relating to our topic:

Funderstanding Rollercoasters

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