The Cyclone

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					                                                          Name: _______________________________________

                                                          Teacher: _____________________________________

                                                          School: ______________________________________
Physics Education Program




                                                         The Cyclone
                                                                                                               student activity



Key Ideas

Acceleration, Circular motion, Centripetal acceleration, Conservation of energy, Gravitational potential
energy, Gravity, Kinetic energy, Velocity



Equipment
Accelerometer
Calculator
Pencils and clipboard



          Activities with this symbol may be completed while you’re lining up for the next ride, or after you leave
          Dreamworld.


Standard Achieved: Knowledge and Conceptual Understanding, Scientific Techniques and Scientific
Investigation
                                                                                                                                       Not Attempted
VHA                           HA                                 SA                       LA                   VLA
• applies algorithms and      • applies algorithms and links     • applies algorithms,    • applies algorithms, • applies given        • not attempted
  integrates concepts,          concepts, principles, theories     principles, theories     principles and        algorithms
  principles, theories and      and schema to solve                and schema to            schema
  schema to find solutions      problems and pursue                problem solving and
  and predict outcomes in       solutions and predictions in       to predicting
  complex and challenging       complex and challenging            outcomes
  situations.                   situations
• applies technology to       • applies technology to gather     • uses technology to     • uses technology to • uses technology to    • not attempted
  gather and record valid       and record valid data and          gather and record        gather and record    gather and record
  data and information with     information                        data and information     data and             data and information
  discrimination                                                                            information to a     to a very limited
                                                                                            limited extent       extent
• generates justified         • generates conclusions,           • generates              • attempts           • very limited attempts • not attempted
  conclusions, reasoned         reasoned solutions and             conclusions and          conclusions          at conclusions
  solutions and supported       supported decisions                solutions
  decisions
Dreamworld Physics Education Program                             The Cyclone Student Activity

The Cyclone Rollercoaster is one of the tallest high-
speed gravity rollercoasters in the Southern
Hemisphere. It’s 13 storeys and 1000 tonnes of high-
speed, heart-thumping twists, with a hair-raising 360-
degree loop and screaming sidewinder!

Acceleration holds the key to the excitement of
rollercoasters. In this activity, you will predict, calculate,
measure, analyse and ultimately experience the
acceleration of The Cyclone!

Predicting acceleration

    1. On the sketch of The Cyclone rollercoaster,
       use the letter “v” to indicate the points at which
       you predict the maximum velocity to be
       experienced.

    2. Now indicate the points where you predict the
       maximum acceleration to be experienced,
       using the letter “a.” Include at least five points.



Experiencing acceleration:
Riding the Cyclone!

    3. Use your accelerometer to measure the
       acceleration experienced along the ride.

    4. On the sketch, write the actual accelerations
       experienced at each of the points which you
       identified earlier. Also note the accelerations at
       the top and bottom of the loop, if you haven’t
       already.

    5. List the factors that determine the acceleration
       at any point along the ride.

         _______________________________
         _______________________________
         _______________________________
         _______________________________
         _______________________________




                                                            2
 Dreamworld Physics Education Program                                               The Cyclone Student Activity


 Analysing acceleration

Gravity rollercoasters rely only on the gravitational potential energy at the highest point of the roller coaster to
propel their excited passengers through the ride. The highest point of The Cyclone is 40.35m from the ground,
while the lowest point is 3.5m.

     6. Calculate the gravitational potential energy at the highest point, with respect to the lowest point, in
        terms of the mass, m, of the roller coaster.

         __________________________________________________________________
         __________________________________________________________________
         __________________________________________________________________
                                                                                       GPE = __________ J

     7. Use the initial potential energy that you just calculated and the principle of conservation of energy to
        determine the kinetic energy at the lowest point in terms of mass, m. (Assume that the initial velocity
        of the roller coaster is zero, and ignore friction.)

         __________________________________________________________________
         __________________________________________________________________
         __________________________________________________________________
                                                                                       KE = ___________ J


     8. From the kinetic energy, calculate the velocity at the lowest point.
         __________________________________________________________________
         __________________________________________________________________
         __________________________________________________________________
                                                                                       v = _________ ms-1

                                                                                         = _________ kmh-1


     9. Dreamworld claims that the maximum speed achieved is 85km/h. Compare this to the velocity which
        you calculated for the lowest point, and suggest reasons for any discrepancy between the results.

         __________________________________________________________________
         __________________________________________________________________
         __________________________________________________________________
         __________________________________________________________________
         __________________________________________________________________
         __________________________________________________________________
         __________________________________________________________________
         __________________________________________________________________
         __________________________________________________________________
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Dreamworld Physics Education Program                                              The Cyclone Student Activity

   10. The height at the top of the loop is 19.45m above ground level. Calculate the velocity of the roller
       coaster at this point.

       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________
                                                                                     v = __________ ms-1

   11. Calculate the centripetal acceleration experienced by the riders at the top of the loop if the radius of
       the curve of the track is 5m.

       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________
                                                                                     ac = _________ ms-2

                                                                                         = _________ Gs


   12. Determine the total acceleration (the sum of centripetal and gravitational accelerations) at the top of
       the loop.

       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________
                                                                                     anet = _________ ms-2

                                                                                         = _________ Gs

   13. Compare your calculated acceleration in question 13 with your measured acceleration at the same
       point in question 4. Suggest reasons for any discrepancies.

       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________

   14. The height at the bottom of the loop is 4.3m above ground level. Calculate the velocity of the roller
       coaster at this point.

       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________
                                                                                     v = __________ ms-1




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Dreamworld Physics Education Program                                             The Cyclone Student Activity


   15. Calculate the centripetal acceleration experienced by the riders at the bottom of the loop if the radius
       of the curve of the track is 14m.

       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________
                                                                                    anet = _________ ms-2

                                                                                        = _________ Gs


   16. Determine the total acceleration (the sum of centripetal and gravitational accelerations) at the bottom
       of the loop.

       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________
                                                                                    anet = _________ ms-2

                                                                                        = _________ Gs


   17. Compare your calculated acceleration in question 17 with your measured acceleration at the same
       point in question 4. Suggest reasons for any discrepancies.

       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________


   18. Dreamworld suggests that the maximum force experienced in the loop is 2.5G. Compare this with
       your measured and calculated accelerations at the top and bottom of the loop, and state whether
       you believe that Dreamworld has taken its measurement from the top of the loop or from the bottom
       of the loop. Justify your response.

       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________
       __________________________________________________________________


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