In classical mechanics, Newton’s Second Law (NSL) is often used when talking about acceleration. NSL states that the acceleration of an object is directly related to the net force and inversely related to its mass. It can be written as F~ = m~a. This concept can be applied to many real life situations, one of them being roller coasters. Passengers on roller coasters can accelerate in all directions. Some accelerations are due to gravity while others are due to launch systems that apply a mechanical force to a train. Roller coasters are often described by how many G forces riders experience while riding them. A G force is not an actual force but is a measurement of force per unit mass. One G force is equal to the acceleration due to gravity, 9.8 m s 2 , and causes the perception we know as weight. So a coaster that advertises as experiencing 5 G forces will make the rider feel five times heavier than their normal weight. G forces can be felt in all six directions of the xyz coordinate system.
Dr. Thomas P. Kling, Thesis Advisor
Dr. Elif Demirbas, Committee Member
Dr. Samuel F. Serna O., Committee Member
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Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.
Briggs, Olivia. (2021). Roller Coaster Acceleration. In BSU Honors Program Theses and Projects. Item 459. Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/honors_proj/459
Copyright © 2021 Olivia Briggs