Unformatted text preview: Name: ______________________________________ Date: ________________________ Student Exploration: Roller Coaster Physics
Vocabulary: friction, gravitational potential energy, kinetic energy, momentum Prior Knowledge Questions (Do these BEFORE using the Gizmo.)
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 hill.
1. What happens at the beginning of every roller coaster ride?
A winch brings the cars to the top 2. Does the roller coaster ever get higher than the first hill? No Explain. because due to the friction in the machines, the total mechanical
energy of the roller coaster will decrease. Gizmo Warm-up
The Roller Coaster Physics Gizmo 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 (Hill 1 = 70 cm,
Hill 2 = 0 cm, Hill 3 = 0 cm, 35-g car).
1. Press Play ( ) to roll the 35-gram toy car down yeah
the track. Does the car break the egg?_________ 2. Click Reset ( yeah
). Set Hill 1 to 80 cm, and click Play.
Play. Does the car break the egg? _______ 3. Click Reset. Lower Hill 1 back to 70 cm and select the 50-gram toy car. Click Play. Does
the 50-gram car break the egg? _________ 4. What factors seem to determine whether the car will break the egg?
The mass of the car and the velocity of which the car moves 2019 Activity A: Get the Gizmo ready: Roller coaster
speed Click Reset. Select the 35-g toy car. Question: What factors determine the speed of a roller coaster?
1. Observe: Set Hill 1 to 100 cm, Hill 2 to 0 cm, and Hill 3 to 0 cm. Be sure the Coefficient of
friction is set to 0.00. (This means that there is no friction, or resistance to motion.)
A. Click Play. What is the final speed of the toy car? 442.9 B. Try the other cars. Does the mass of the car affect its final speed? No 2. Collect data: Find the final speed of a toy car in each situation. Leave the last column blank. __ Hill 1 Hill 2 Hill 3 Final speed 40 cm 0 cm 0 cm 280.1 cm 40 cm 30 cm 0 cm 280.1 cm 60 cm 50 cm 20 cm 280.1 cm 40 cm________
None 60 cm 0 cm 0 cm 343.1 cm 60 cm 45 cm 0 cm 343.1 cm 90 cm 75 cm 30 cm 343.1 cm ____ None
None ________ ________
60 cm 3. Analyze: Look at the data carefully. Notice that it is organized into two sets of three trials.
A. What did each set of trials have in common? they all had the .1 in them
B. Did hill 2 have any effect on the final speed? no
C. Label the last column of the table Total height lost. Fill in this column by subtracting
the height of hill 3 from the height of hill 1.
D. What do you notice about the Total height lost in each set of trials?
It's an even number for each 4. Draw conclusions: When there is no friction, what is the only
the second hill
speed of a roller coaster? The height of
and third hill
What factors do not affect the final speed of a roller coaster? The first 2019 Activity B:
Energy on a roller
coaster Get the Gizmo ready: Click Reset. Select the 50-g car. Check that the Coefficient of friction is 0.00. Set Hill 1 to 100 cm, and Hill 2 and 3 to 0 cm. Question: How does energy change on a moving roller coaster?
1. Observe: Turn on Show graph and select E vs t to see a graph of energy (E) versus time.
Click Play and observe the graph as the car goes down the track.
Does the total energy of the car change as it goes down the hill? No 2. Experiment: The gravitational potential energy (U) of a car describes its energy of
position. Click Reset. Set Hill 3 to 99 cm. Select the U vs t graph, and click Play.
A. What happens to potential energy as the car goes down the hill? It turns into Kinetic energy
It turns into Potential energy
B. What happens to potential energy as the car
hill? the car goes
3. Experiment: The kinetic energy (K) of a car describes its energy of
Select the K vs t (kinetic energy vs. time) graph, and click Play.
A. What happens to kinetic energy as the car goes down the hill? It increase kinetic energy
B. What happens to kinetic energy as the car goes up the hill? Turns into potential energy
4. Compare: Click Reset. Set Hill 1 to 80 cm, Hill 2 to 60 cm, and Hill 3 to 79 cm. Be sure the
50-g toy car is selected, and press Play. Sketch the U vs t, K vs t, and E vs t graphs below. 5. Draw conclusions: How are potential energy, kinetic energy, and total energy related?
An object's mechanical energy can be the product of its motion and the product of its accumulated positional energy. ___
complete quantity of mechanical energy is the sum of potential energy of kinetic energy only. (Activity B continued on next page) 2019 __ Activity B (continued from previous page)
6. Calculate: Gravitational potential energy (U) depends on three things: the object’s mass (m),
its height (h), and gravitational acceleration (g), which is 9.81 m/s2 on Earth’s surface:
U = mgh
Energy is measured in joules (J). One joule is equal to one 1 kg•m2/s2. When calculating the
energy of an object, it is helpful to convert the mass and height to kilograms and meters.
(Recall there are 1,000 grams in a kilogram and 100 centimeters in a meter.)
A. What is the mass of the 50-gram car, in kilograms? .05
B. Set Hill 1 to 75 cm and the other hills to 0 cm. What is the height in meters? .75 C. What is the potential energy of the car, in joules? 147.15 j
7. Calculate: Kinetic energy (K) depends on the mass and speed (v) of the object. The
equation for kinetic energy is:
K = mv2
With Hill 1 set to 75 cm, click Play and allow the car to reach the bottom.
A. What is the final speed of the car, in meters per second? 3.836 mps
B. What is the kinetic energy of the car, in joules? (Use the mass in kg.) 2.098 kg
C. How does the car’s kinetic energy at the bottom of the hill compare to its potential
energy at the top? The bottom of the hill would be equal to its gravitational potential energy at the top of the hill, by conservation of energy. 8. Challenge: With no friction, you can use the relationship between potential and kinetic
energy to predict the speed of the car at the bottom of this hill from its starting height. To do
this, start by setting the kinetic and potential energy equations equal to one another:
K = U
mv2 = mgh
2 A. Use algebra to solve for the speed. v = B. With no friction, does the final speed depend on the mass of the car? no C. With no friction, does the final speed depend on the steepness of the hill?
D. What is the final speed of the car if the height of the hill is 55 cm (0.55 m)?
Use the Gizmo to check your answer. 2019 yes 328.5 Get the Gizmo ready: Activity C: Click Reset. Check that the Coefficient of friction is 0.00. Breaking the egg Introduction: As the car rolls down a hill, it speeds up, gaining kinetic energy. The car also
gains momentum. The magnitude of an object’s momentum (p) can be found by multiplying the
mass and speed (p = mv).
Question: What determines whether the car will break the egg?
1. Form hypothesis: Which factor(s) do you think determine whether the car breaks the egg? The mass of the car only The momentum of the car The speed of the car only The kinetic energy of the car 2. Collect data: Use the Gizmo to find the minimum hill height at which each car breaks the
egg. In the table below, fill in the hill height (in centimeters and meters), and the speed of
the car (in cm/s and m/s). Leave the last two columns blank for now.
0.035 kg Height
73 cm 0.050 kg 1 cm 0.100 kg 1 cm Height
(m/s) .73 m 378.5 cm/s 3.785 m/s .01 m
.01 m Momentum
energy (J) 378.5 cm/s 3.785 m/s
378.5 cm/s 3.785 m/s 1
mv2, calculate the momentum and kinetic
energy of each car. Remember to use the kg and m/s values for each calculation. Fill in the
last two columns of the table. 3. Analyze: Using the equations p = mv and K = A. Does the car’s mass alone determine whether the egg breaks?
B. Does the car’s speed alone determine whether the egg breaks?
C. Does the car’s momentum determine whether the egg breaks?
D. Does the car’s kinetic energy determine whether the egg breaks? No
No Yes Yes Explain your answers:
A cars mass doesn't break the egg because even when you shoot the 100 g car of the 20 cm hill it wont break
and speed alone cant break the egg because you need to also build momentum to build up extra speed and uses
more kinetic energy 4. Draw conclusions: What is the minimum energy required to break the egg? 316.3 cm/s 2019 ...
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