Last summer I went to the Cedar Point amusement park in Ohio
and was particularly interested in the physics behind one of the rides called
the twister. This roller coaster consists of two identical towers that spiral
upward parallel to each other. The ride starts when the cart is shot up one
side. From here the cart rolls back down and with its own energy shoots back up
the other side. The ride has been calculated to reach close to the top of the
tower, but not fall off. This calculation was completed by using the equation ΔKE =
−ΔPE +WNC. By calculating the correct speed of the cart upon takeoff as well as
factoring in the non conservative forces such as friction and air resistance,
the makers of this ride are able to determine how high the cart will go. Since
no new outside forces act on the cart after its initial launch, the cart will
only reach a slightly smaller height on the other tower, therefore ensuring the
safety of the riders.

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