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What is the physics behind how a roller coaster works? - R
How roller coasters work
The maker of the coasters
Have you ever wondered how roller coasters work? Well here is your time to learn. Roller coasters were made by LaMarcus Adna Thompson (March 8, 1848 – May 8, 1919) was an American inventor and business man most famous for developing many high and enjoyable gravity rides. Thompson was born in Jersey, licking county, Ohio on March 8, 1848. Thompson is best known for his early work developing
, and is sometimes called the “Father of the Gravity Ride”. He did not invent the roller coaster; that credit goes to
John G. Taylor
who patented it under the name “Inclined Railway”. However, over his lifetime, Thompson accumulated nearly thirty
related to roller coaster technologies. An example is the patent granted 22 Dec. 1885 for the Gravity Switch-back Railway.
By age 17 he was a master carpenter after receiving his degree at Michigan’s Hillsdale College, Thompson worked first in the wagon and carriage industry. Thompson then turned his attention to roller coasters, perhaps inspired by the Mauch Chunk Switchback Railway in Pennsylvania. Thompson decided to undertake building his own switchback, and in 1884, Thompson’s Gravity Pleasure Switchback Railway opened at Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York.
Thompson registered nearly 30 patents covering coaster technologies, and within four years had built 50 more switchback railway coasters in America and Europe, making him a millionaire. As more advanced coasters appeared, Thompson collaborated with James A. Griffiths to build a new kind of attraction, the Scenic Railway, which opened in 1887 on the Boardwalk of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Focusing on the view from the ride, Thompson delighted in building panoramas of artificial scenery with varying themes. Scenic railways remained his focus until his death in 1919. Thompson truly was a pioneer in the world of roller coasters – as well as a pathfinder for the future of themed attraction.
How the coaster work
Text Box: Figure 1 this diagram shows how roller coasters work
Here the coaster goes up there is not
kinetic energy but tons of potential energy
. As the coaster goes down the hill the potential energy turns into kinetic energy and when the coaster goes back up it gains more potential energy again.
A roller coaster is a
, three dimensional fixed courses, gravity operated recreational vehicle. We build a track. We have included in our track design some curves and loops to increase the level of enjoyment. (Call it the fun factor.) We figure out how to make some cars that will roll along the track. Not too tough, but critical for safety. We put a short string of cars together, fill them with folks and send them on their way.
Gravity pulls the cars down, and we're flying! We are now converting the stored (potential) energy we gathered climbing the hill at the start into the energy of motion (kinetic energy). In the turns and loops, the cars careen around and we are pressed into the seats. We change the course of the track and reorient the cars along the way to make it more fun and redirect energy. As we make those twists and loops, we will be tapping more of that energy that we stored in the cars at the start, and we'll be using it to keep the cars on the track in the loops and twists. We finally come to a stop.
Text Box: Figure 2 Intimidator 305 a roller coaster in Carowinds, Charlotte
Modern day roller coasters.
A hyper or
is a type of roller coaster with a height or drop that ranges from 200 feet (61 m) to 299 feet (91 m) and completes a full circuit. The first roller coaster to be classified as a hyper coaster is magnum xl-200 at Cedar Point designed by Arrow dynamics. Since its debut, hyper coasters have become one of the most predominant types of roller coasters worldwide. A hyper or
is a type of roller coaster with a height or drop that ranges from 200 feet (61 m) to 299 feet (91 m) and completes a full circuit. The first roller coaster to be classified as a hyper coaster is magnum sx-200 at Cedar Point designed by Arrow dynamics. Since its debut, hyper coasters have become one of the most predominant types of roller coasters worldwide.
is a type of roller coaster with a height or drop that ranges from 300 feet (91 m) to 399 feet (122 m) and completes a full circuit. The term was coined by a Cedar Point and Intamin partnership following the construction of Millennium force. The only other official giga coaster is
at Kings Dominion.
Although Morgan and Bolliger & Mabillard have not used the term
, both have a roller coaster in this class.
And Intamin are the leading manufacturers of this type.
A lot of it comes form
= Kinetic energy is defined as the work to accelerate a body.
= patents are things you get to declare that the thing you have is your or you made it.
LaMarcus Adna Thompson=
Is the creator of roller coaster.
Citations Brian, Marshall
How stuff works
Hungry Minds, c2001.
, Peter, Force motion and energy, Needham Mass.: Prentice Hall, 2000
Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2012. Web. 27 Sept. 2012.
Wikipedia. Roller coasters. Wikipedia.
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