• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

I was delegated to investigate the physics aspects and principles involved with a theme park ride.

Extracts from this document...


Khaled HamidPage

Physics investigation


        As part of a physics investigation, I was delegated to investigate the physics aspects and principles involved with a theme park ride. In the past it was usually roller coasters which were thoroughly examined, but I have chosen a ride that is a little far from the conventional; the ‘Tidal wave’, which is a giant log (wooden carriage) hurtling down from a high point down to a steep slope and in to water.

        Upon investigating the roller coasters, the main aim was to identify two aspects of physics involved and to further discuss these principles/aspects in order to find the effect, its purpose and how it influences the ride itself and people on board it.

Identification of physics involved:

There are many aspects of physics involved in the ride but I am only set to discuss two. However, it would be relevant to mention how the other aspects of physics involved and how they affect each other.

        The first aspect of physics which I noticed on the tidal was the acceleration and deceleration involved needed to bring the ride to a rest position. I also have chosen to discuss the force involved to ‘push’ the carriage down the steep slope.

Explanation of principle and its uses to the ‘Tidal wave’:

The acceleration is a measure of the rate at which the velocity of a particle is changing.

...read more.


                               S = ut + ½ at2

Account of one aspect (2): Where is the formula derived from and how is it related to ‘Tidal Wave’?

Think about the carriage moving along a straight line at the bottom of the hill with a constant acceleration (a). Suppose that its initial velocity, at a time is (u). After a further time (t), its velocity has increased to (v). From the definition of acceleration as (change in velocity)/(time taken) we have :

                       a = (v – u)/t, or re arranging to give v = u + at

From the definition of average velocity v = s/t we can find the distance by forming/rearranging to establish s = ut. The average velocity v is written in terms of the initial velocity u and final velocity v as:

                V = u + v/2

And using the previous equations for v,image09.png

            v = ( u + u + at )/2  =  u + at/2

Substituting this we have:

        S = ut + ½ at2

The right hand side of the equation is the sum of two terms. The ut term is the distance the carriage has travelled in time t; if it had been travelling with a constant speed u, and the ½ at2 terms is the additional distance travelled as a result of the acceleration

Diagram and analysis:

v = 0ms-1     s = 17m   u = 14.13 ms-1   a = ?   t = 3.47 sec


        mass of carriage = 1500kgimage01.png

                                                         number of people on carriage = 11

15 m


        27 degimage04.pngimage05.pngimage03.pngimage06.png

The figures are not 100% correct.

...read more.


However I cannot suggest anymore improvements because the ride is a ‘log’ ride and only needs slopes and hills to generate a greater kinetic energy and increase acceleration.

One problem that could arise is a safety problem. The train has no seatbelts or a safety function to make sure the rider will stay put in the train, therefore I suggest that they add waist bands to the carriage to prevent young children with smaller mass from actually falling out. Although this has not happened, and the engineers have carefully calculated out the physic involved in preventing this, I think this would be a safer thing to do. It will also generate some psychological safety, juts like rollercoaster’s with shoulder pads.


For this investigation I used my background knowledge as the main source of reference and information but the following books were also of aid:

  • Horner Salters
  • AS/A2 physics – Moe Beijin
  • Revise AS Physics - Letts

For the colour diagram, I got the jpeg from the following url;

- http://www.glenbrook.k12.il.us

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Forces and Motion section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Forces and Motion essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Factors Influencing Resistance of a Wire

    3 star(s)

    So as the thickness of wire increases so does the possible routes the electrons can take so the number of collisions should actually go down. So the resistance is inversely proportional to the thickness of the wire. As you can see in the diagram above, by increasing the length, the

  2. The ride I am going to study is called 'Detonator', it uses both the ...

    (initial velocity 'u', minus the finishing velocity 'v'), and dividing it by the time taken for this change 't' usually in seconds, this can be written as Acceleration = Change in velocity Time taken for change or a=v-u t The units for acceleration are ms-2 or m/s².

  1. The forces that are acting on the human body when experiencing a theme park ...

    The Detonator The following points will be investigated: o Velocity o Breaking Force o The relationship free-fall has with other aspects of physics This report will not however be investigating into rollercoaster loops or centripetal force as these do not apply to 'The Detonator' and are too advanced for this piece of writing.

  2. A-Level Physics Investigation:The Ski Jumper

    It was difficult to make the launch angle flat. In the end I have found another method. Since the table was flat which was measured with a spirit level, I decided to force the flat part of the rail into the table. This worked extremely well as the entire part was aligned with the table.

  1. In this experiment I aim to find out how the force and mass affect ...

    The apparatus I use was the same through out the whole experiment to keep things like the mass and friction of the trolley upon the runway. The factor of safety is very important in every experiment. Unsafe experiments tend to be inaccurate so fully meeting all of the safety requirements increases the accuracy of the experiment.

  2. The Physics of Sailing

    As mentioned earlier, a sailboat is powered by the wind. Before getting too technical, let us get an idea of how a boat functions. On a sailboat there is no motor or steering wheel. Therefore, the sails must be adjusted or trimmed according to the boats angle or position to the wind.

  1. Investigating the Physics of Bunjee Jumping

    The stand was placed on a bench with the string hung over the ledge. Masses of 50g to 500g were placed onto the mass holder, which was also measured, and then hung on the suspended string. The length between the top of the string and the bottom of the mass holder was measured for each new mass.

  2. "Conservatives are more concerned with the preservation of stability and order than with freedom" ...

    In order to calculate the deceleration of the ride, we have to calculate other factors such as velocity. Velocity can be obtained through the following calculation: V2 = u2 + 2as v=final velocity u = initial velocity a = acceleration s= displacement Acceleration involves calculating a final velocity and an initial velocity.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work