Roller Coaster Lab Report

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In order to apply our understandings of kinetic and potential energy, we built a rollercoaster. This helped us get a real life understanding as to how these scientific concepts work. Some things that we learned while doing this lab is that having different sized hills in different areas of the coaster will help the marble to keep moving. When building our coaster, we had a lot of trial and error as to how we would build the two hills. We put the first hill immediately after the loop to give the ball enough momentum to keep going. By doing this, we were able to have a higher hill, which in turn made the marble able to turn faster around the first turn, giving the ball more momentum. We realized soon that having a bumpy first hill would cause…show more content…
In order to slow down the marble at the end, we added a little bit of cotton. This causes friction to increase and the ball to slow to a smooth stop. Are track definitely isn’t the smoothest. With all of the dowels and glue, our track has become a little bumpy and as our roller coaster sways more, the usable energy lost increases along with friction. Using the first turn as an example, the PE was .035 joules and the KE was .003 joules. This shows that our PE vs. KE is fairly different. The usable energy lost was .025 j, which shows that our roller coaster had a good amount of friction. Our total energy at the start of our coaster was .063, with the same potential energy. As the roller coaster ended and more friction occur, the marble lost its momentum and the total energy and usable energy lost became the same. Some of the error in calculations is being able to time the marble just right, as it is hard to see. This is a human error that probably can’t be fixed. The area of our roller coaster that worked really well was our loop because it was very smooth and the beginning had a long drop. Something we could’ve improved on was the
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