# Roller Coaster Acceleration

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9/4/2010
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```							                                  Roller Coaster: Acceleration

Top of first hill                                Track Distance

Bottom of first hill

Height

Distance

Objective: Determine the acceleration (A) of the coaster between the top of the first hill
(initial velocity or starting point) and the bottom of the first hill.

EXAMPLE: Determine Acceleration of Zonga.
Given:
Velocity at top of first hill (initial velocity) = 0
Velocity at bottom of first hill = ?
Distance = 75m
Height = 100m
Track Distance = ?

Step 1: Track Distance = (Distance2 + Height2)1/2
Track Distance = (752 + 1002) ½  (15625) ½ 125 = TRACK DISTANCE

Step 2: With a stopwatch, determine time it takes to go from the top of the first hill to the bottom of the
first hill.
TIME = 3.5 seconds

Step 3: Determine velocity at the bottom of the first hill.

In this case, we simply need to determine the “final speed” at the bottom of the first hill.
Speed = Track Distance/ Time

Speed = 125 m/3.5 seconds

Final Speed = 35.7 m/s

Step 4: Use the acceleration formula to determine the acceleration between the top of the first hill and
the bottom.

Acceleration = (Final Speed– Initial Speed)/ Change in Time

Acceleration = (35.7 m/s – 0) / 3.5 seconds
Acceleration = 10.2 m/s2

Acceleration = 35.7 m/s / 3.5 s

```
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