How does Newton's first law affect roller coasters?

2 Answers
Apr 18, 2014

Newton's First Law, the Law of Inertia, is what makes roller coasters so much fun.

Inertia can be simplified to, "objects want to keep doing what they are doing." It's when they are forced to do something different that we, as roller coaster riders, experience the thrill of the ride. It causes us to experience rapid acceleration (both positive and negative) and the change in g force that accompanies such changes.

We find ourselves often pinned against the seat, or feeling like we are floating off of it, because the roller coaster car has decided to change direction (thanks to its connection to the track), but our bodies' inertia wants to keep us going in a straight line. This is most prominent on the rapid changes in direction or altitude.

Mar 24, 2015

Newton's law has every thing to do with roller coasters.

in the case that you have given, the first law states that any object when given an force will keep moving until there is no opposing force acting upon the moving object. when the roller coaster is moving the opposing force here can be the frictional force that is acting upon the coaster that is the breaking system as the train comes to the station to stop a the end.
to summarize

  • Newton's first law: any object will keep moving until there is an opposing force acting upon it
  • the opposing force in the coaster is the breaking system..