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what energies and forces does a rollercoaster use
Roller coasters use only a few different types of forces and energies.
The most important is the first hill of the coaster. The reason you go
so high up is so you can get lots of potential energy (which is a
result of the force of gravity). As you go down the hill, the
potiential energy changes into kinetic energy as you speed up, however
some of the energy is absorbed by air resistance and the wheels
turning. Since there is no other source of energy, the first hill is
always the biggest.
Also, the speed of the roller coaster is limited by that first
hill. The higher the hill, the faster you will go. You really can't
make it go any faster once the ride has been built.
(republished on 07/25/06)
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