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Amusement Park Physics

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A favourite summertime journey for a lot of households is a visit to the amusement park. Whether or not you want carousels or curler coasters, there appears to be one thing for each stage of thrill-seeker. Amusement parks are additionally a good way to review physics within the classroom. When potential power is transformed to kinetic power, the enjoyable begins. Most rides depend on intricate engineering ideas for his or her thrill-granting qualities and supply an important alternative for college students to review the results.

Bumper Automobiles

Bumper automobiles are a bang-up solution to observe all three of Newton’s legal guidelines of movement. Collisions are affected by velocity and the mass of the automobiles and drivers concerned. Since bumper automobiles are basically all the identical mass, we want solely to focus on the mass of the drivers. Based on Newton’s Legislation of Acceleration, the larger an object’s mass, the more durable it’s to vary its velocity. In a bumper automobile enviornment, which means that heavier drivers will journey much less on influence and lighter drivers will journey farther.

Newton’s Legislation of Inertia can be at work right here. It states that an object in movement will keep in movement till acted upon by an exterior pressure. When two bumper automobiles collide, they cease. Nevertheless, the drivers are inclined to preserve shifting within the path and on the velocity they had been heading earlier than the influence. Because of this seat belts are so very important. Newton’s Legislation of Interplay explains why in a bumper automobile collision, the automobiles bounce off of one another in reverse instructions. Each the item exerting the pressure and the item receiving the pressure have adjustments in acceleration.


  • Eight marbles of the identical dimension and mass (bigger marbles work higher)
  • One marble of a distinct dimension and mass
  • Two rulers which have a groove down the middle
  • Two textual content books of the identical thickness

Process: On a stage floor, line up all eight marbles within the groove of the ruler so they’re touching one another. Have members predict what is going to occur if one of many marbles is drawn again and pushed into the opposite seven. After learners have made their predictions, carry out the demonstration. Repeat this a number of instances, every time drawing again a further marble to push into the remaining marbles.

The second a part of this demonstration entails creating two ramps from the rulers and the books. Place the rulers dealing with each other, separated by 10 centimeters. Have college students predict what is going to occur when two objects–shifting in reverse instructions–collide. Then place equal-sized marbles on the prime of the ramps and launch them. Repeat the demonstration utilizing different-sized marbles to symbolize automobiles with completely different weight passengers. One other variation is to find what occurs when one marble is pushed down the ramp whereas the opposite is just launched.

Drop of Loss of life

The gut-in-your-throat free fall was by no means my favourite experience. I hate the anticipation of the autumn and the sensation in my abdomen because the plummet begins. Inertia is accountable for that feeling and the accompanying sense of weightlessness. All objects free fall at precisely the identical fee, no matter their mass. In a free fall, gravity is the one pressure appearing upon the objects. Thus, through the plummet, your physique is falling towards the earth at precisely the identical fee because the experience’s automobile. You might be now not pushing towards the automobile neither is it pushing again on you.


  • A plastic cup
  • Water

Process: Ask college students what is going to occur in the event you poke two holes on reverse sides of the cup. Then, drill or punch two holes about ¼ inch in diameter into the cup’s sides about an inch from the underside. Fill the cup with water and observe because the water flows out from the holes. Fill the cup once more, this time overlaying the holes along with your fingers. Stand on a ladder or desk and drop the cup once more. The water doesn’t circulate from the holes whereas in free fall as a result of the water is falling on the similar fee because the cup, and isn’t pushing towards the cup.

Curler Coasters

Whether or not you’re keen on them or hate them, curler coasters are difficult fashions of physics legal guidelines. Because the automobile climbs to the highest of the primary hill, an engine pulls it in order that the automobile can construct potential power. However after it begins its free fall, the coaster completes the experience by switching between potential and kinetic power. By finishing the next exercise, college students will achieve a stable understanding of potential and kinetic power, in addition to the results of centripetal pressure, gravity, and friction.


  • Foam pipe insulation minimize in half (a number of yards for every group)
  • One marble


Instruct your younger engineers to construct a curler coaster that features the next:

  • Two hills
  • A full loop
  • A hole within the observe
  • A design that enables the marble to finish your complete observe

Learners ought to sketch their design first, noting things like the hill heights, the forces at work (centripetal, gravitational, and frictional), the diameter of the loop, and locations the place the coaster is constructing potential power and utilizing kinetic power. After sketching, they’ll mannequin their design with the froth insulation and marble and full 5 timed runs. Throughout the runs, college students ought to notice any locations the place the marble stops shifting or practically stops.

After assessing their design, your engineers ought to tweak their coaster, noting the adjustments on their sketches and finishing 5 extra timed runs. If time permits, you’ll be able to change the design standards and sophistication members can use what they discovered to construct a greater curler coaster.

It’s time to vary the notion that physics is a five-headed monster with fangs. In actuality, it’s a department of science that everybody experiences in each day life. Making the connection between the essential ideas of physics and on a regular basis occasions makes it extra accessible and fewer intimidating.

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