The Science of Roller Coasters
A heavy, padded bar falls across your lap, locking you into the tiny seat. There is no escape. You're propelled forward--transfixed by the seemingly endless track rising before you. Your stomach clenches. Clacking noises reverberate around you. The ascent goes on, and on--teasing you, testing you. And then, almost without warning, you're plummeting to Earth at such a dizzying speed you feel airborne. Your body is whipped to the left and then to the right. You're upside down. You're upright. Are you coming or going? A scream rips from the depths of your soul. You are on a roller coaster and having the time of your life. Roller Coasters are amazing machines that give humans and awesome sensation. Some of you might ask, What is the history behind Roller Coasters? Or you might ask, What is the science behind Roller Coasters? In this essay I will explain the history and science behind these amazing machines that seem to give you the sensation of your life.
Roller Coasters have been around ever since the Russians started sliding down ice slides made out of wooden ramps in 15th century. These Ice slides reached up to 70 feet in height with a 50-degree angle. In the late 1700s the first wheeled coaster, consisting of gentle slopes, appears in St. Petersburg. In 1884 the first roller coaster is built in Coney Island, New York. This roller Coaster was built by LaMarcus Thompson and was called the Gravity Pleasure Switchback Railway. This ride reached a top speed of 6 miles per hour, and the train cars had to be manually towed to the top of the hills at the begging of both tracks. LaMarcus went on to build 24 more roller coasters. In 1885 the mechanical hoist was developed and there was no longer the need for the carts to be towed manually. In 1907 the first high speed roller coaster was built in New Jersey. It was called drop the Dip. This was also the first roller coaster to use lap bars. In 1910-1912 the safety ratchet that keeps the carts from falling backwards while going up a hill, and the under-friction safety wheels were invented by John A. Miller, the designer of 100 roller coasters. The 1920s is called the Golden Age of roller coasters because there were more than 1500 roller coasters operating in the U.S. and 1500 to 2000 overseas. During the 1930s 1940s were the dark ages for roller coasters. Hundreds of coasters were torn down because of the depression of WWll. In 1955 Disneyland opened, and a new era of amusement parks begins. From 1955 on roller coasters started sprouting up again all over the nation. They became very popular and now days there are some amazing roller coasters with flips, loops, high-speed turns, and steep declines. Now the G forces from roller coasters are just amazing.
Roller Coasters have a bunch of parts and materials that make them safe, fun and efficient. In the past there have many roller coasters that h ave been not safe and have taken peoples lives. They didnt have the technology that we have now. We have Linear Induction Motors. A Linear Induction Motor has only two main parts, a Stator and a Rotor. The stator is wound with either two or three wires in a specific pattern, depending on whether the current is two or three-phase. When the appropriate current is supplied to this winding, a rotating magnetic field is produced in the air gap between the stator and the rotor. This magnetic field induces currents within the rotor, which at any moment oppose the direction of the magnetic field, thus causing the rotor to rotate around the stator. An induction motor is inherently a constant speed motor. The speed can be changed by changing fixed parameters within the motor design. Therefore, in order to accelerate a roller coaster car, many motors must be used along the track, each one rotating at a slightly higher speed. There are also laser sensors that monitor the speed of the roller coaster at all times making sure that it is safe and not malfunctioning. One of the main roller Coaster designers is John A. Miller. Miller held over 100 patents on roller coaster devices. Among his inventions were the safety ratchet, which lock the carts to the track. He has patents on brakes for both the cart and the track, flange locks on tracks, and roller coaster structuring. Miller even had the patent on the Ferris wheel patent. The Science of roller coasters is still study and new Mechanics are made for them to make them safer and fun.
In conclusion, Roller Coasters have been around for Centuries. The History of roller coasters is just amazing. There are thousands of roller coasters around the world. Roller Coasters provide, a sensation like nothing else. Roller coasters are fun, safe, and an amazing artwork.