Physics Themed: Unit 14 "Forces & circular motion"

14- Forces & Circular motion
Summary: Has a stationary wall ever pushed you? How about a stationary floor? It will be my job in this unit to convince you they both have…..Now that we know about how much work it takes to put our rollercoaster where we want it, we need to find how much force that requires. Also, friction works against our coaster as it robs energy, but ultimately it’s a friendly force that lets us stop our coaster too. To master forces we’ll learn Newton’s laws of motion and do an informative friction lab. Besides ordinary linear forces, as coaster designer MUST understand the forces from circular motion. This is because coasters move in circles in turns, loops and at the top and bottom of hills. Circular motion imparts G-forces and there are severe limits on how much a human body can take. Also, negative G-forces are much more dangerous than positive G-forces for reasons we’ll learn about; but, you can’t understand or design a rollercoaster without understanding G-forces and we’ll learn about this so the concept makes sense to you.

Resources: Online book chapter 8, Reading packet 4, work packet, handouts


Unit 14: Forces & circular motion calendar

Objectives, Vocabulary & Equations


Objectives, vocabulary & equations

Other important files (resources)

  1. Reading packet 4
  2. Work packet (Newton's laws, circular motion and G-forces)

Tutorials (right-click and save file locally ("save target as"), then play)

  1. Notes: 14-01 Forces & circular motion of rollercoasters
  2. Notes: 14-02 G-Forces & circular motion of rollercoasters


More Links

  1. PhET Forces & Friction Lab
  2. Unit notes
  3. Coaster Project