Roller Coasters




Question1:  Historically speaking what makes roller coasters so popular?

Question 2:  Has roller coaster design enolved since the original roller coasters?

Question 3:  What are some of the theme parks in the US that have roller coasters?

Question 4:  What are the safety cosiderations when designing a roller coaster?

Question5:  What is the distance, rate of speed and time duration for the different rollar coasters?

Question6:  What is acceleration and how does it relate to roller coaster thrills?



Question 1: Historically speaking what makes roller coasters so popular?

     Historically and even today there are people called thrill seekers who like to find ways to shock and excite themselves.  Roller coasters were and are a way to defy gravity and speed.  In the early days of roller coasters probably the fact that the roller coaster was new helped its popularity.  It was something different that gave people a couple minutes of thrill and excitement.  Some people like to give their money to be scared because they feel excited and alive when the get off a roller coaster. Roller coasters took them away from their everyday life for just a couple of seconds and gave them an adventure. The adventure in which today by new ways of building and structuring roller coasters have made them even more popular.

Question 2: How has roller coaster design evolved since the original roller coasters?
     According to the website: http://www.teachingtools.com/GoFigure/FlyerCarpets.htm roller coasters have evolved because designers have added more twists, drops and even loops. Roller coasters started out wooden and then eventually were made of steel.  Today roller coasters are built with both wood and steel.  The roller coasters of today are more complex with added thrills and themes compared to the roller coasters of the past.  The original plain roller coaster of yesterday pails in comparison to the big expansive, thrill seeker of today but this is normal due to the technology of today as compared to the technology of long ago.  Steel Roller coasters offer a smoother, taller and faster ride.  Steel Roller coasters are more up keep and maintenance than wooden roller coasters.  The wooden roller coasters of today are now pre-fabricated so this is bringing back there popularity because this gives them the characteristics of the steel roller coasters.  The cars of today on a roller coaster are not self powered they need a standard full circuit to be pulled with a chain to lift to the first peak of the roller coaster track.  Roller coasters cars are made of wood or steel and have been upgraded in time because of new techniques and technology but still have the same concept as the roller coaster cars of yesterday.

Question 3:  What are some of the theme parks in the US that have roller coasters?  What are the popular roller coasters of theses sights?

     Some of the theme parks that have roller coaster are Walt Disneyworld in Florida that has popular coasters such as: Rock n Roller coaster, Revenge of the Mummy, Barnstormer, Big Thunder Railroad and Space Mountain. In Disneyland, California the park has roller coasters, Gadget’s Go Coaster, Matter horn Bobsleds and Space Mountian.  In Hershey, Pennsylvania they have popular roller coasters such as, Twin Toboggans, Wildcat, Super Soaker and Lightning Racer.
Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey has popular roller coasters, Lightning Loops, Rolling Thunder, Nitro, Viper and Great American Scream Machine. Dorney Park and Wild Water Kingdom in Allentown, Pennsylvania has popular roller coasters, Hercules, Talon, Laser, Steel Force and Woodstock Express.

Question4:  What are the safety considerations when designing a roller coaster?
     One of the most important aspects designers pay attention to are when designing a roller coaster are acceleration they like it to be fast without a lot of jerking for the rider.  Also, I have learned in a building simulation of a roller coaster a couple of points about building a successful roller coaster such as: The height of the first hill must be the highest so that your coaster can get the maximum possible energy for the rest of the ride. Also, the second loop must be smaller so it will have the maximum possible energy for the rest of the ride. Loops are elliptical because circular loops have not been done safely yet. The slopes of the roller coaster must be curved at the bottom for the first slope because it will give maximum energy for the rest of the ride and give it a safe exit path.  A low slope for an exit path does the same for the roller coaster as the curved slope. The speed of the engine of a roller coaster varies in speed according to the roller coaster. All of these considerations, physics and maintenance of the roller coasters help to provide the safety of the roller coasters.
Question 5:  What is the distance, rate of speed, and the time duration for the different roller coasters?

Distance: 1.02 miles

Rate of Speed:  80 mph

Time Duration:  45.97 seconds

Rock n Roller Coaster

Distance:  0.64 miles

Rate of Speed:  57 mph

Time Duration:  40.70 seconds

Lightening Racers

Distance:  1.28 miles

Rate of Speed:  50mph

Time Duration:  92.73 seconds

Roller Soakers

Distance:  0.24

Rate of Speed:  30 mph

Time Duration:  29.54 seconds


Distance:  .50

Rate of Speed:  60 mph

Time Duration:  30 seconds

Question 6: What is acceleration and how does it relate to roller coaster thrills?

     Roller coasters create accelerations and g-forces which are capable

of making your body feel as if your stomach has dropped.  The

roller coaster gives you many sensations such as weightlessness,

heaviness and a somewhat jerky feeling that to most is fun.

You also have to factor in the twists, turns and loops that you

feel when you are riding a roller coaster.  Your speed changes

drastically and your body is constantly moving into different

directions.  The drastic changes in speed, direction and movement

give the rider the thrill and excitement of the ride.


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