Design a rollercoaster ride by completing a series of challenges.
You can change some of the track features and see how these changes affect the speed of the rollercoaster.
Look out for the speed cameras, they display speed at various points along the track.
The rollercoaster should reach the end and finish at a safe speed.
As the rollercoaster accelerates downhill gravitational potential energy is transferred
to kinetic energy. However, some energy is wasted through friction –
the wheels and bearings get hot and sound is generated.
The longer the track, the more this makes a difference.
In this level you can alter the length of the track as well as the height. A longer track means more energy is lost, so you need to compensate with a greater difference
in height between the start and the finish.
Rollercoaster engineers have to trade off different factors against each other
to create an exciting and safe ride – can you do it?
In this level you need to select the heights and then calculate the speed
the train will travel at. You will be given information such as the mass of the train, acceleration due to gravity and the percentage of energy lost through friction.
From this you can work out the gravitational potential energy, the energy
that has been lost, the amount of kinetic energy the train will have and
the speed it will be travelling.
Then run the train and check the speeds. Did you get it right?
The challenge then is to select heights that will enable the train to complete
the journey without stalling and finish at a safe speed (less than the target).
LEVEL 1 - CHALLENGE A
A rollercoaster ride has to be both exciting and safe, often accelerating fast
but going slow enough at the end to stop safely.
The rollercoaster starts off at a high point with gravitational potential energy.
This is transferred to kinetic energy as it descends and then back
to gravitational potential energy as it climbs.
The difference in height between the start and finish points is critical. If the difference is too small, the rollercoaster won’t have the energy to reach the end and will stall.
If the difference is too great it will be going too fast at the end.
Can you set the track up so that the passengers get a ride that is both exciting and safe?