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Roller Coaster Works By Gravity: The Physics Of A Rollercoaster

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The typical roller coaster works by gravity. There are no motors used to power it during the ride. Starting from rest, it simply descends down a steep hill, and converts the (stored) gravitational potential energy into kinetic energy, by gaining speed. A small amount of the energy is lost due to friction, which is why it's impossible for a roller coaster to return to its original height after the ride is over. The roller coaster uses a motorized lift system to return to its original position at the top of the initial hill, ready for the next ride.
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