The Effects of Velocity and Mass of a Car and Curve Radius of the Track on the G-Force Felt on a Roller Coaster

The experiment was conducted to test the effects of velocity and mass of a car, as well as the curve radius of the track, on the G-force experienced on the Roller Coaster. The experiment was intended to combine different factors in order to determine how a safe, but high, G-force could be achieved on a roller coaster track. It was hypothesized that the car with the largest mass, highest velocity, and smallest curve radius would result in the greatest G-force. Outside of the classroom this data could be used when designing new roller coasters, new tracks, and new cars. The data that was collected could aid engineers in developing safe yet thrilling rides. To conduct this experiment three different cars, varied in mass, as well a track, were constructed. The cars were Hotwheels cars with pinewood derby weights attached by the adhesive given with the weights. The various cars were then boosted at three different velocities by a Hotwheels' booster modified with a potentiometer. After the cars went through the designated track for the given trial, the change in force was measured. Once the experiment was conducted, the hypothesis was not accepted. It was concluded that the highest velocity and largest curve radius achieved the greatest G-force, and mass had no effect. Although, the data proved to be inconclusive; the smallest curve radius should have achieved the greatest G-force.

Research Done By:

Josh Hallock
Cousino High School

Jameson Tockstein
Cousino High School