Explanation of the Physics Involved

For a thrilling experience in a rollercoaster ride, there is a wealth of physics involved. A part of the physics of a rollercoaster includes the physics of work and energy. The Redback is a pendulum type ride at Aussie World that includes many types of physics concepts. These concepts include the conversion of gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy, G-force, the conservation of energy and simple harmonic motion. The calculations of the ride of the Redback can be seen in Appendix B.

As roller coasters travel down and up the track throughout the ride, the gravitational potential energy (GPE) the cars hold is transferred to kinetic energy (KE), and back again. On Earth, there is always the force of gravity acting on people and things. This is called GPE. The amount of
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Therefore, the equation is GPE=mgh. All moving objects have kinetic energy. The kinetic energy an object has depends on its mass, if the mass doubles then the KE doubles, and speed, if the speed doubles then the KE quadruples. In order to find KE, the formula KE=½ mv^2 is used. As the car travels to the top, or highest point in the ride, the car gains GPE. However, once over the top, the car then gains speed as GPE is transferred to KE. Note that not all the energy is transferred to or from GPE, as some is transferred to the surroundings as heat and sound. However, for this investigation, it is assumed that all energy is transferred. No energy is lost or gained. Which is the Law of Conservation of Energy. The Law of Conservation of Energy, a concept

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