Physics Fun:      THE INVESTIGATIONS!

 

               The Study of Mechanics, Energy, Force & Motion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Investigation #1: Zoomerang Coaster

 

Mass of each car                                        = 1500 pounds or 680 kg

Number of cars                                          = 7

Maximum Height                                       =  36.91 meters Lift 1

  35.5 meters Lift 2

Top of Loop                                               =  19.325 meters

Total distance traveled                               = 286 meters (1 way)

Diameter of loop = __________________

 

 

 

 

 

Ride the Zoomerang or watch from the upper midway. Match the statement with the

letter from the photo above. Letters may be used more than once and there may be

more than one answer for each statement. Keep in mind that the Coaster zooms

both frontward and backwards.

 

 _____ 1. Where do you have the greatest potential energy?

 _____ 2. Where do you have the greatest kinetic energy?

 _____ 3. This location is where you have the greatest velocity.

 _____ 4. This location is where you have the slowest velocity.

 _____ 5. This is where you feel almost weightless. 

 _____ 6. This is where you feel very heavy.

 _____ 7. Where is work being done?

 _____ 8. Where do you feel the greatest deceleration?

 _____ 9. Where so you experience the greatest G-Force on you?

 _____10. This is where the greatest friction is produced.

 

 


Observations and Calculations:

 

 1.    How many riders are on the Zoomerang? Find the average

                      number per ride from 3 runs of the coaster.

 

1st trip number 

2nd trip number 

3rd trip number 

average number / trip 

 

 

 2.    Use your watch or stopwatch to determine how long the ride

        lasts from loading people to unloading people.  

 

        time = _________ seconds = _________ minutes = _______ hours.

 

 3.    Based on the time for one ride, calculate how many rides could

                      be run in an 8 hour day.

 

                       ___________ rides

 

 4.    Using the average number of people per trip and the number

                       of rides per day, how many people could ride the Zoomerang

                       in:

 

                       One Day ? _______                 One Season (85 days)? _________

 

 5.    Work is the force causing something to be displaced. W = Fd          

a.   Calculate the work needed to lift the Zoomerang to the 

                               top of the first lift hill. Note: For vertical work here, the force 

   is the weight of the train and the riders and the distance is the   

   height    Therefore,  W = mgh.   Use the max number of riders 

   at 63.5 kg each.   

                              

 

 

 

                               

b. Power is the rate of doing work.  Calculate the power needed to

lift the train to the top of the first hill.

 

                  Power = _________ Watts =  __________ horsepower 

 

 

6. Explain qualitatively the energy transformation in one complete trip. 

     Specifically, consider the energy change from the loading area to the 

     first peak and then the change from this point to the end of  the ride.

                                 

 

 


7. What measurements must be made to evaluate the maximum 

        potential energy of the Zoomerang?

 

        a. 

 

 

        b. Carefully make these measurements and record the results here.

 

 

 

        c. Calculate the maximum potential energy of the Zoomerang

            (include riders). Where is the Zoomerang located when it has 

            potential energy? What is the speed at this point? (Label and 

            explain your steps). 

 

 

 

        d. What is the Zoomerang’s maximum kinetic energy? Where is it

            located at this time? What is its speed at this point? (Show work)

 

 

   

        e. Compare the speed calculation obtained in (d) above with the speed

            calculation obtained in the next problem. Comment on any 

            correlation.

 

            It is said that the speed of a roller coaster as it travels through a 

            loop depends on the height of the hill from which the coaster has just  

            descended. The equation s = 8 √h – 2r  gives the speed s in feet per 

            second, where h is the height of the hill and r is the radius of the loop. 

            Using the data assembled at the start of the lab, determine how fast the 

            Zoomerang travels through its initial “loop.”

 

 

8.     a. What force or forces do you feel at the top of the loop?

 

 

        b. Draw a free body diagram representing the forces acting on you at:        

 

 

9.    What is the minimum speed you can have when upside down and not fall 

       out? (assuming no restraints). Show your work!

 

        

        

 

 

 Measurements

Your mass = __kg                                Time for first car to reach top of first hill

Angle of rise, first hill 0= ‑o                           Time for first car to travel down from B to C

 

 

Sensations (Normal, Heavier, Lighter):

 

At B,just before descending

At about halfway down

At C, bottom of the curve

At D, top of the loop

 

Observations

 

 

1.      What is the advantage of a long, shallow first incline?

 

 

2.      Why is the first hill always the highest?

 

 

S.     Why is the track of the roller coaster banked?

 

 

4.     Where does your meter read closest to zero?

 

 

5.     How do you feel at this point?

 

 

6.     What does the near zero reading tell you about the track at that point?

 

7.     Where does the meter give a maximum reading? Why is it a maximum here?

 

Meter Readings:

 

force meter =

force meter =

force meter =

force meter =

                                                                                   

 



Investigation #2: The Rotor

 

1.    Below are the measurements needed to determine the centripetal force on  

       you or one of your lab partners. Show forces & velocity on the diagram. 

       Fill in the values.

 

 

 

2.   From the radius, calculate the circumference of the Rotor.

 

 

 

3.   Calculate the centripetal acceleration on you, and explain how this relates to 

      centripetal force. ( ac = v2/r ; v = Circumference divided by the time for 

      one trip around.) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.   G force is a comparison of the normal force of gravity on you to the force

      you experience in an accelerated frame of reference. A force of 1 g is equal 

      to your normal weight in pounds or newtons.

 

       a.    What force holds you to the wall of the Rotor?

 

              

 

       b.    Explain in detail what this force is and how it is produced.

 

               

 

 

 

c. Calculate this force on you.   (Show your work.)  Fc  = mv2/r

  

d.     Calculate the g force acting on you in the Rotor. 

                (Fc divided by your weight.)

 

 

 

5.    Draw a free body diagram of the forces acting on you while in the Rotor. 

       (Label all forces.) 

 

 

 

 

6.    a.    If you do not slide down the wall, what does this tell you about

              the force of friction? 

 

 

 

       b.    What is the normal force in this diagram equal to? 

               

 

 

       c.     Calculate the coefficient of friction (μ ) 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 


Investigation #3: The Pirate 

 

 Ride capacity (number of Riders)

Approximate weight (full)

Maximum height of the Pirate

Radius of Swing

 

Weight of Pirate Empty = 14300 lbs or 6490 kg

                     

 

                                                                 

 

 

  

 

 

 

1.    Explain the energy transformation which occurs when the Pirate is in 

       operational mode. 

 

 

 

 

2.    Calculate the maximum velocity of the Pirate and show where this

       occurs. (Show your work).

                                                               

        Answer ________  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.    Measure the period of the Pirate (Use a stop watch and time several 

        oscillations). 

  

 

        Period =   

 

 

        Calculate the frequency of the Pirate.  (Show all work).     

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.    Draw a free body diagram of the forces acting on you when (a) you 

       are at the bottom of the swing and (b) at the top of the swing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.    Using the Pirate as a pendulum, and the information from above, 

       calculate the acceleration due to gravity at this park. (Show your work).

      

 

        g = 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Investigation #4: The Carousel

 

 

Note: Answer the questions based on your position 

on the Carousel. Use two different distances from 

the center.

                                                                                   

 

Data:     

 

                                                                 Trial #1                         Trial #2

1. Your distance from center  

2. Your period of rotation  

3. Your velocity  

4. Centripetal force acting on you  

 

 

 

 

 

            Show your work here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.    What effect on the centripetal force did changing your location produce?

 

 

 

 

2.    If you are near the center of the Carousel, explain what strategy you would 

      use to throw a ball to a partner on the outside edge.

 

 

 

 

 

3.    If the output of the engine is 25 hp. Calculate the work 

       required to turn the Carousel once.  

 

       (Note:  1 hp = 550 ft-lbs/sec or 746 watts).

 

       Work  _________________

 




 

Investigation #5: The Wildcat

 

                             

Data:

         Your mass: ______________________ kg

         Angle of the first hill: _______________ o 

         Time for train to travel up the first hill: __________________ sec.

         Elevation of first hill = 73’7’’ from grade level (__________ meters)

 

1. Calculate your average speed going up the first hill.

 

 

 

 2.    What is your potential energy at the top of the first hill? (Show work)

 

 

 

 

3.    How much work was needed to get you to the first hill?

       (Show work)

 

 

4.   What force was used to get you to the top of the hill?

      (Show work)

 

 

 

 

5.    The Wildcat track at the bottom of the first hill is at an elevation of

       5’ 2’’ from grade level or _____________ meters. (Show all work)

 

       a.    How much potential energy is remaining at the bottom of the

              first drop?

 

 

      b.    How much kinetic energy do you have at the bottom of the 

             first drop?

 

 

c. Calculate your velocity at the bottom of the first drop.

 

 

First Turn:          Radius of curvature = _________ feet ( _______ meters)

                           Elevation = 57’ 9’’  or ( _________ meters)

 

6.    What is your velocity in this turn?  (Show your work)

 

 

 

7.    Calculate the centripetal force on you in this turn. (Show your work)

 

 

 

8.  Why is the track banked in the curve? 

 

 

 

9.    What is the g force on you in the turn? (Show your work)

 

 

 

 

End of Ride:      Time to stop: _______________

                           Braking point elevation = 21’ 1’’ ( _________ meters)

                           Braking distance = 250 feet ( _________ meters)

 

 

 

10.    What is your velocity at the braking point? (Show your work)

 

 

 

 

11.    What is your deceleration?  (Show your work)

 

 




 

Investigation #6A: Wave Swinger

 

 

 

1. Estimate the radius of the circle traveled by a chair in the outer ring as the 

  ride operates                                                             

 

 

2. Using the above value, calculate the distance (circumference) traveled by the 

  chair in one revolution.                                                           

 

 

3. Calculate the linear speed of the moving chair.    

 

 

4.    Estimate the mass of the chair and the average rider.

 

 

5.    What is the centripetal force needed to keep the chair with rider moving in a 

       circle?   ( Assume the swing chair has a mass of 9 kg.)                                                  

 

 

6.    Measure or estimate the angle between the chair chains and the 

       vertical.                                                                 

 

 

7.    What is the tension needed in the chain to supply the centripetal

       force in Question #5?                                            

 

       

 8.    Diagram the ride at the following times:

 

        a.    at rest

        b.    when it is moving, but not tilted

        c.    when it is moving and tilted.

 

       Is there any difference in the radius?  Please explain. 

 

 

 9.   Determine the length of the entire chain.  

 

 

10.   What causes the swings to move out as the wheel turns?

 

        

11. Where does “down” appear to the riders?  

 

 

12.   Describe the reasons for the different sensations on the ride at the

        following points:

 

        a.    when moving, but not tilted.

        b.    going down when tilted.

        c.    going up when tilted.

 

13.    Measure the period of a swing when: 

 

         a.    moving and not tilted.

         b.    moving and tilted.

 

 

14.    How does the angle of an empty swing compare with the angle of an 

         occupied one at the same radius? Does the mass of the rider seem to 

         make any difference?

 

 

15.    Although the hub is rotating at a constant rate, it does not seem that

         way when the ride is tilted. Indeed, your tangential velocity is NOT 

         constant. Why?

 

 

 

16.    Determine the tangential speed at which the outer swing is moving 

         when the hub is moving and tilted. Give the answer for both the bottom 

         and top of the orbit.

 

 

 

17.    Determine the tangential acceleration of the outer swing when the hub

         is moving and tilted. Give the answer for both the bottom and top of 

         the orbit.

 

 

18.    Find the centripetal force of an empty swing when the hub is moving and 

         tilted.  Give the answer for both the bottom and top of the orbit.

 

 

 

 

19.    The swing angle is the difference of the vector combination of the

         gravitational and centripetal forces. Calculate the theoretical angle 

         the swing should have (when the ride is not tilted), and compare it 

         with the measured value.

 

 

 

20.    Calculate the gravitational, centripetal, and tensional forces acting on 

         the swing when you are in it. Do this for the following four cases:

          a.    at rest

          b.    moving, but not tilted

          c.    moving, tilted, and at the top of the orbit.

          d.    moving, tilted, and at the bottom of the orbit.

 

           How do these compare with the same quantities when the swing is 

           empty?




Investigation #6B: The American Flyers

 

                                        

The American Flyers

are similar to the Wave Swinger in that the cars                        

swing out away from the axis of rotation during

the ride. The American Flyers are different                           

because the rider controls the amount of the                              

swing by positioning the “sail” on the front of 

the vehicle. 

 

 

       

1.    Estimate the mass of the car and passenger.

 

 

 

2.    Estimate or find the period of rotation.

 

 

 

3.    Estimate the radius of the circle traveled by the “flying car” when 

       the passengers do not touch or move the “sail.”

 

 

 

4.    Estimate the amount of centripetal force needed to keep the vehicle flying

       in the circle described in Question #3. Explain. 

 

 

5.    Estimate the amount of centripetal force needed to make the vehicle 

       fly as far as possible from the ride’s axis. 

 

 

6.    Estimate the amount of centripetal force needed to make the vehicle fly 

       as close as possible to the ride’s axis.

 

 

7.    What is the approximate outward force that can be provided by the “sail.” 

       How did you get this answer?

 

 

 

8.    What is the approximate inward force that can be provided by the “sail”? 

       How did you get this answer?

 

 

Investigation #7: Saw Mill Plunge

                                                           (A Water Roller Coaster)

 

Reminder:  Use the information provided by your teacher concerning the bench marks for

hard-to-measure locations.

 

Data and Measurement:

 

 Length of boat:  9 ft = ______ meters       Mass of boat:  350 lb = ______ kg         

 

 Vertical drop of hill:    ______ meters        Angle of down hill:  ______ 

 

  Time for whole boat to pass any given

    point before going up to top of hill:              __________ seconds   t1

 

    Time for boat to come down hill:                  __________ seconds   t2 

 

    Time duration of the splash at the 

    bottom of the hill:                                        __________ seconds   t3

 

    Time for whole boat to pass any given

    point after splashing at bottom of hill:         __________ seconds   t4

 

Observations:

 

1.    Why is there water on the slide or hill and not just at the bottom of 

       the slide?

 

 

 

2.    If there is a great deal of mass in the front of the boat, is the splash

       larger or smaller than if there is a smaller mass in the front?  

       If so, explain.

 

 

 

3.    Is there an observable splash-time difference with greater mass in the 

       front than if the greater mass is in the rear? If so, explain.

 

 

 

4.    Is there any place on the ride where riders “lunge” forward involuntarily? 

       Where does this occur? Explain why. 

 


 

Calculations:

 

1.     Determine the average velocity of the log before going up the hill.

 

 

 

2.     Calculate the length of the hill.

 

 

 

3.     Determine the average speed of the log down the hill.

 

 

 

4.     Assuming the speed of the log at the top of the hill is the same as the speed 

        before the hill, calculate the speed of the log at the bottom of the hill just prior 

        to splashing. 

 

 

 

5.     Calculate the average acceleration of the log going down the hill. 

 

 

 

6.     Calculate your momentum at the bottom of the hill before splashing. 

 

 

 

7.     Calculate your momentum after splashing is complete. 

 

 

 

8.     Using the time of splash, calculate the average force you experience during 

        the splash. 

 

 

 

9.     List several purposes of having water as part of this ride.

 

 

 

10.   Compare this ride to a roller coaster. What are the similarities? 

 


 

Investigation #8: Compounce Mt. Skyride

 

 

 

 

1.     Determine the length of the Skyride in meters. Describe the method you used

        to determine the total distance (round trip) that a single chair travels during its 

        circuit.

 

 

2.     Observe the ride for one full circuit (or ride the ride yourself). How long does

        is take for the ride to reach the top of the mountain? 

                                                                                             

 

 

3.     How many chairs are on the Skyride? Each chair can carry up to 4 adults. 

        Using information from your answers to the above questions, what is the 

        average number of people that can ride the chairlift in an 8 hour day if all 

        chairs are used?

 

        

 

 

4.     What is the distance between chairs? Explain how you arrived at your answer.

 

    

        

 

 

5.     The Skyride is a continuously moving attraction. If you are on the chair at the

        base of the mountain heading upward, is this potential energy or kinetic 

        energy?

 


Investigation #9: Ferris Wheel 

 

 

 

1.     If you were sitting on a bathroom scale, where on the above diagram would 

        you see a greater weight than normal?

                                                                              

 

2.     At which position in the above diagram would you see a smaller weight?

 

                                                                             

 

3.     Estimate the maximum speed of the ride in rpms (revolutions per minute). 

 

                                                                              

 

4.     Does the size of the Wheel affect your perception of its speed?  Why or why not?

 

                                                                               

 

5.     How many gondolas are there on the Ferris Wheel?  

 

6.     What are the maximum numbers of passengers that the wheel can carry with

        a capacity of 6 adults or of 8 children per gondola?

 

                                                                 _________ adults           ________ children

 

7.     Estimate / calculate the full height of the wheel from its base.

 

                        _______ meters

                                                                                

 

8.     Estimate / calculate the radius of the wheel.                           _______ meters

 

 

9.     Calculate the circumference of the wheel. 

                                                                                                          _______ meters

 

10.   If light bulbs are to be placed 6 centimeters apart around the front edge of 

        the perimeter (circumference) of the wheel, give a close approximation of 

        how many bulbs would be needed.

                                                                                                            _____________ 

 


 

11.    Compute the mechanical advantage if the radius of the Ferris Wheel is 

        12.2 meters and the diameter of the axle is 12.0 inches.

                                                                                                             _____________

 

12.    Time 1 complete period (use a particular chair as your starting point). Find 

         the height for each angle (use triangulation).  Make a data table of angles, 

         times, and heights from starting point. Label time in seconds and height in 

         meters. Plot 1 period of a time vs. height graph.

 

              Angle                     time                    height

 

                  0                         

 

                 π/ 4

 

              π /2

 

           3 π /4

 

                π

           

           5π /4

 

           6π /4

 

            7π /4

 

               2 π

 

13.     Write a sine equation for your graph. 

 

 

 

14.     At what height will the chair used as the starting point be after 

         15 seconds? Use your equation to answer.

 

 

 

            


Investigation #10: Enterprise 

                                                                                   

A road is banked to differing                            

angles and curves based upon

the speed that cars and trucks                                                                                                          

will use when traveling the road.                            

 

The suspended cars of the 

Enterprise will swing out at 

some angle when they travel                                                                                                                          

in a circle. The angle depends                                                                         

upon the radius of the circular

path and the speed of the wheel. 

 

 

 1.     Measure the radius of the wheel.             

 

 

 2.     Measure the angle each car makes with the vertical as the wheel 

         approaches full speed while rotating horizontally. Is each car 

         uniformly the same angle, regardless of the position around the

         wheel?   

 

 

 3.     Record your spring accelerometer reading at the following points of

         the ride:

 

          a.     at rest 

          b.     at full speed, but while horizontally oriented.

          c.     at full speed, but at maximum vertical orientation

         

                  i.      at the top

                  ii.     halfway down

                  iii.    at the bottom

                  iv.    halfway up

 

 

4.     Record your apparent weight changes (sensations) and compare 

        with the readings in Question #3. 

 

 

5.     Carefully observe the angle of each car relative to its suspension point 

        as it goes around when the arm is at its maximum vertical elevation. 

        Why is it different when approaching the very top from when it is 

        approaching the very bottom?

 

 

 

6.     At what point do you feel the lightest?  

 

        The heaviest?   

 

        Why is there a difference?  

 

7.     Determine the period of motion when the car is rotating at its 

        maximum rate.

 

8.     Calculate the accelerations and the number of g’s experienced 

        when:

 

         a.     at rest

 

         b.     at full speed, but while still horizontally oriented. 

 

         c.     at full speed, but at maximum vertical orientation:

 

                 i.        at the top.

 

                 ii.       halfway down

 

                 iii.      at the bottom

 

                 iv.      halfway up

 

9.     Calculate the force the seat exerts on you at the bottom when the ride 

        is vertical.

 

 

10.     Draw a force diagram showing all of the forces acting on your body in 

          each of the following situations:

 

          a.     at rest

          b.     at full speed, but while tilt horizontally oriented

          c.     at full speed, but at maximum vertical orientation

 

    i.       at the top

                  ii.       halfway down

                  iii.      at the bottom

                  iv.       halfway up

 

11.     Knowing the force acting on a rider when the car is rotating at top

          speed in a  horizontal circle (Question 10b), derive an expression for

          calculating the theoretical angle of tilt of the cars at this speed.

 

12.     Using the results from Question 11, calculate the theoretical angle of 

          tilt of the cars at top speed. Compare and contrast this theoretical 

          value of tilt with the measured value.

 

 

 

13.     Calculate the gravitational, centripetal, and tensional forces acting on 

          you while you are on this ride. Do this for the following four cases: 

           a.     at rest

           b.     moving, but not tilted

           c.     moving, tilted , and at the top of the orbit

           d.     moving, tilted, and at the bottom of the orbit


Investigation #11: The Bumper Cars

Participate in this investigation with a partner.

 

1.     What happens in a collision to each car when:

 

         a.    one bumper car is not moving?

 

         b.     a rear-end collision occurs?

 

         c.     a head-on collision occurs? (speculate)

 

         d.     there is a collision with a stationary object (the side rail)?

 

         e.     cars sideswipe?

 

 

2.     Describe how you feel when any type of collision occurs. Are you  a well-packaged passenger? Please explain your answer.

 

 

 

3.     How is electrical energy supplied to the bumper cars? Describe the   complete circuit for one of the cars.

 

 

 

4.     Why do the cars have rubber bumpers?

 

 

 

5.     Mass of the bumper car:        385         lbs                  ___________ kg

        Mass of rider (you)           ___________    lbs                 ___________ kg

        Mass of car and rider       ___________    lbs                 ___________ kg

        Total mass of your partner and his/her car                 __________  kg

 

 

6.     During collisions, is kinetic energy always conserved? Please explain  your answer.

 

 

 

 

7.      Is the mechanical energy (kinetic + potential) of the bumper cars  conserved? Please explain your answer.

 

 

 

8.     Estimate the average speed of a bumper car in motion.

 

 

 

9.      Estimate the stopping distance of a bumper car in an average  collision. Try to observe the approximate amount of  “give” of a bumper car in a number of different collisions where the car comes  close to stopping after the collision. 

 

 

 

10.    Find an average negative acceleration of a bumper car in an  “average” collision. How many g’s is this? (Show your work)

 

 

 

11.    Assume that you are traveling at 2 m/s.  for momentum mv=mv = impulse (f*t)

 

         a.      Calculate the momentum of you and your car.

 

 

         b.       You collide with a wall and rebound at a speed of 1 m/s. 

                   Calculate the momentum of you and your car after the 

                   collision with the wall bumper. (Keep in mind that momentum 

                   is a vector quantity!)

 

 

          c.     Calculate the change in momentum of you and your car.

 

 

          d.     Assume that you are moving at 2 m/s. You strike a wall 

                  bumper and come to a rest in 0.5 seconds. Calculate the impulse 

                  acting on you and your car during the collision. 

 

 

 

           e.     Calculate the force that caused the change in momentum.

 


Investigation #12: Thunder Rapids Raft Ride

 

Data and Measurements:

 

   Mass of raft:        681.8 kg 

 

 Radius of raft:                                                ________ meters

      

                Vertical length of lift conveyor:                       _________ meters

 

 Time for whole raft to pass any given

                point before going up to top of hill:                 ________ seconds

 

 Time for raft to cycle the route:                       ________ seconds

 

                Time duration of the raft in the 

                load / unload station:                                    ________ seconds

 

                Time for whole raft to pass any 

                given point after entering the station

                until it drops off the conveyor                        ________ seconds

 

 

 

Observations: 

 

1.     Why is there water on the slide or hill and not just at the bottom of 

        the slide?

 

2.     If there is a great deal of mass on one side of the raft, is the splash 

        larger or smaller than if there is a smaller mass on a side? 

        If so, explain.

 

3.     Is there an observable splash-time difference with the greater mass of 

        a fully loaded raft than if the greater mass is on one side?

        If so, explain. 

 

4.     Is there any place on the ride where the riders “lunge” forward 

        involuntarily? Where does this occur? Explain why.

 

 


Calculations:  

 

1.     Determine the average velocity of the raft before going up hill.

 

 

 

2.     Calculate the length of the conveyor hill.

 

 

 

3.     Determine the average speed of the raft up the hill.

 

 

 

4.     Assuming the speed of the raft at the top of the hill is the same as the 

        speed before the hill, calculate the speed of the raft at the end of 

        the trough just prior to entering the load / unload station.    

 

 

 

5.     Calculate the average acceleration of the raft as it leaves the conveyor.

 

 

 

6.     Calculate your momentum at the bottom of the trough before 

        entering the load / unload station.

 

 

 

7.     What happens to your momentum as water splashes down on you

        at Lover’s Rock.

 

 

 

8.     List several purposes of having water as part of this ride.

 

 

 

9.     Compare this ride to a roller coaster. What are the similarities?

 

 

 

10.   What would happen to the time length of the ride if the inflatable tubes 

        were to be over inflated? Under inflated?

        

 

 


 

13. _ _ _ ( ( ( ( . . . = = = Boulder Dash

 

This mountain coaster, new in 2000, is marvel of engineering. It is the longest

wooden roller coaster on the east coast and the only one of its kind, built on a

750 ft. mountain, which forms the western boundary of Lake Compounce Park.

The course is determined by the mountain topography and designed to disturb 

as little of the natural setting as possible, including the trees, bushes, ledges, 

and boulders.

 

The coaster ride begins in the north end of the Park near the Ferris Wheel

(located in Bristol) travels to the south end of the Park near the Skyride (located

in Southington) and back again over 4500 plus ft. of track. For a breathtaking

two minutes, guests race through dense woods, past rugged rock facing, and

between large boulders at up to 60 miles per hour.

 

The unusual design tries to keep the coaster a hill hugger and very fast. The

speed doesn’t change greatly during the ride as with most roller coasters. Heavily

dependent on gravity from the top of the first initial drop on, it maintains a high

range speed throughout the ride. For true coaster lovers (as well as everyone who

dares to ride), a deluxe assortment of other specialties complete the unparalleled

ride. In amusement park lingo, your experience might include sideways jogs,

bunny hops, ejector or floater airtime, laterals, and a feisty 180-degree

turnaround. 

 

In short, Boulder Dash may be one of the coolest psychologically thrilling rides in

the world. Because you are actually riding on a real intact mountain, many

unexpected “blind” surprises may have your hair standing on end.

 

Now, that you know the scoop, give it a try!

 

Data: 

 One train:  Mass of each car:                1134 kg

                               Number of cars:                        6

                                 Capacity of one train: _____________

 

                                 Your Mass:  ______________ kg

                                 Total distance traveled:    4672 ft.  =  _________meters 

                                 Total time of ride:                              _________ seconds

                                 Time from loading to unloading:        _________ seconds

 

                                 Estimate height of first hill:  _______ ft =  _______meters

                                 Estimate angle of first hill:    _______

                                 Time to climb first hill:          ___________ seconds

 

                                     Estimate height of largest drop hill: ______ ft =_____meters

                                      Time to descend largest drop hill:          _________ seconds

 

1.  Calculate the distance up the first hill. 

 

 

 

2.    Calculate your average speed going up the first hill.

 

 

 

 

3.     What is your potential energy at the top of the first hill? 

        (Show your work.) 

 

 

 

4. How much work was needed to get you to the first hill? 

 

 

 

 

5.     What force was used to get you to the top of the hill? 

 

 

 

 

6.     From observation: Does relatively the same speed appear to be maintained throughout

        the ride ?                         How about as the rider? 

 

7.     Did the speed appear to be faster because of the boulders and trees? 

 

8.     Were there any backward leaning zones?  

        Any forward leaning zones?  

 

9. What percentage of your ride appeared to be airtime? 

        Compare your estimate with those of your classmates.

 

 

 

 

10.     Compare your adventure on Boulder Dash to that of the Wildcat and/or the  

          Zoomerang.

 

a. On which coaster did you experience less sideward g forces?

 

b. On which coaster did you have more airtime?  

 

          c.     Did you experience differences in speed?  

 

 

Congratulations! You are now officially a bold, brave, bona fide Boulder Dasher!


         

 

 

14. A heart pumping, adrenaline flowing, white knuckled, and literally hair raising experience, DownTime

is a vertical drop tower with attitude and turbo action.  

 

After the guests are seated, the cart is raised slightly and weighed.  Then it is steadily lifted to the top

of the tower where it is locked in brakes.  Stationary for a few seconds, the cart is then abruptly

launched toward the ground with chilling negative g-force acceleration.  The ride softens with a

bungee like bounce before reaching the bottom of the tower and rebounds for a few soft bounces

before descending slowly back to the ground.  Air pressure, power cylinders, pistons, and air powered

brakes work in harmony with each other to provide guests with some exciting ups and downs.  

 

Whether you’re a watcher or a rider, DownTime is an interesting phenomenon to investigate.

 

1.  How many guests can the ride accommodate?                                                                          

        

2.  Why do you think the cart needs to be weighed?                                  

 

3.  Measure the overall cycle time of the ride from start to finish to gain perspective about    

     the ride. You’ll need a watch with a second hand or one with a stopwatch mode.    

 

 

4.  Measure the time it takes for the cart to be lifted to the top of the tower.  Start measuring at the 

     end of the weigh sequence.                                           

 

 

5. Measure the time of the cart’s turbo descent   Start immediately after release of the braking 

    mechanism.  Hint: Don’t look away or you’ll miss it!  Stop just as the cart is ready to bounce.                       

                                                                                                                                         

 

 

6.  Calculate the height of the DownTime tower (including the flagpole) using triangulation.  The   

     distance from the center DownTime tower panel to the right front corner of the retail building 

     (facing building) is 83.79 feet = ______ meters.  (Reminder: The height of the ride = height from 

     sighting + height of your eye.)

 

                                                                                    

7.  Calculate the height of the DownTime tower (excluding the flagpole).  

 

 

 

DownTime is 185 feet tall (without the flagpole).  The dynamic distance is 165 feet (the distance

through which all the action occurs.)  The first bounce occurs about 40 feet up the tower (from

height without flagpole).The empty cart weighs approximately 2000 lbs.

 

185 ft = _______m          165 ft = _______m          40 ft = _______m          2000 lbs = _______kg

 

 

8.  Calculate the average speed of the cart moving up the tower (begin end of weigh sequence).  

 

                                                                                                                                         

 

 

9.  Calculate the average speed of the cart moving back down toward the ground (begin release to 

     just as cart is entering first bounce).                              

                                                                                                                                           

 

 

 

10.  Calculate the momentum of cart filled with riders (140 lb average), as it is entering first bounce. 

 

 

 

 

 11.  Consider the following overview of the DownTime ride cycle, filling in the blanks as you proceed.

 

A. Load/unload passengers:  Cart is at tower bottom.  Air pressure in all components except the

air supply tank is at ambient.

 

B. With the cart lifted slightly and held at constant height, the weight is established.  The ride

control system determines the ______________________ required to accomplish the desired

ride action.

     

C. The cart is dispatched and moves from bottom to top of tower.  The “up-valve” admits air into

the power _________ to accomplish this. The air admitted into the cylinders acts on the top

side of the ________ and drives them downward.  The passenger cable system lifts the cart in

proportion to  ___________ movement.  Air is exhausted from the “dump-valve and exhaust”

located on the bottom of each cylinder.

 

D. The cart is latched in the air-powered ______________ at the top of the tower.  As the cart is

held, the air In the upper portion of the cylinders and main valve is vented to atmosphere

through the port valve filters, and calculated ________________ is introduced into the bottom

side of power cylinders and the turbo tank.

 

E. Cart launch: The brakes release the cart and air pressure accelerates the cart downward with

an initial acceleration of approximately ______ g.  The power cylinders top side begins to build

pressure.  The power cylinders bottom side begins to dissipate pressure.     

 

F. The cart reaches the bottom of the first bounce about 40 ft up the tower as air is compressed

by the pistons.  Passenger cart acceleration loading attains its _________vertical acceleration               

      of approximately _____ g.   The air pressure in the upper portion of the power cylinders and 

      the main valve reaches its ___________.  This pressure depends on the _________________.

 

G. The cart bounces softly several times and descends slowly back to the ground.

 

14.  If DownTime was a free fall drop tower rather than a turbo drop tower, what differences would 

       you expect to find in the ascent and descent?  Consider time, speed, and g forces.  

 

You’re done?!  Had  fun?!  Then you’ve earned some Down Time!

 

 

 


 

To aid in triangulation measurements, 4 “bench marks” have been placed in the

Park at carefully measured distances from hard-to-measure locations, as follows.

 

1.  A yellow marker can be found on the rail of the fence in front of the 

     Zoomerang,  facing the loop.  It is exactly 107’ 7” from a point directly under

     the center of the Loop.  It is also 185’ from a point under the starting end of 

     the Track (Lift 1).

 

2.  A nail has been driven into the asphalt directly in front of, and 100’ from

     the Pirate.  It is at the intersection of perpendicular lines from the lamp post

     in front of the Pirate and a nearby lamp post in front of the Twister.

 

3.  To gauge the drop height at the Saw Mill Plunge, a stone marker is in the

     grass lawn with trees in front of the water pumps at the lift slope, outside 

     the fence, and up the stone=walled terrace.  The marker is 75 meters      

     horizontally from a point under the top of the drop hill.  The ground at the 

     marker is 1 m below the water level at the bottom of the drop hill.

 

4.  Another nail has been placed into the asphalt in front of the raised garden

     with Carousel horse) in the entrance Plaza.  It is aligned with the highest

     point of the first hill of the Wildcat roller coaster and is 7’ 4” from the garden 

     wall when facing and aligned with the flag atop the Wildcat.  The nail head is 

     186’ from a point below the highest elevation of the Wildcat.