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Student Exploration: Roller Coaster Physics
(refer to vocab file located on the Gizmo site for definitions)
gravitational potential energy, kinetic energy, momentum
Prior Knowledge Questions
(Do these BEFORE using the
Sally gets onto the roller coaster car, a bit nervous already. Her
heart beats faster as the car slowly goes up the first long, steep
1. What happens at the beginning of every roller coaster ride?
2. Does the roller coaster ever get higher than the first hill?
Roller Coaster Physics
models a roller coaster with a toy car on a track that
leads to an egg. You can change the track or the car. For
the first experiment, use the default settings (
= 0 cm,
= 0 cm, 35-g car).
) to roll the 35-gram toy car
down the track. Does the car break the egg?
to 80 cm, and click
. Does the car break the egg?
back to 70 cm and select the 50-gram toy car. Click
Does the 50-gram car break the egg?
4. What factors seem to determine whether the car will break the egg?