Saturday, November 12, 2011

Capstone Project 2 - Comments Wanted!

Kawala has submitted her draft of a capstone project on roller coasters. 

The draft is available here, and she'd love your thoughts!


  1. Kawala,
    I'm a physics teacher in Atlanta and I came across your post.
    I think this is a great start. I really like how you're using video analysis to test conservation of energy. Here are a few thoughts I had while reading your paper:
    -One of the classic problems you've probably done in your physics class is figuring out the minimum height of the first hill you need to make it around that loop. However, it never to occurred to me until reading your paper that most physics classes never analyze this situation with real world data. So how close is this coster to the minimum speed it needs to stay on the tracks at the top of the loop?
    -Another thought is could you do some sort of analysis to see how much mechanical energy (kinetic and potential) is being transformed to other forms on energy in various parts of this ride.

  2. Nice work so far, Kawala. Here are some thoughts I had about it:

    -Andy (Physics Professor in Minnesota)

  3. Hi Kawala, nice work so far. I don't really have much in the way of criticism, but just a question to take this project further.

    -Can you come up with a function for how quickly energy is being dissipated by friction?

  4. Hello, Kawala. I am a physics teacher in Maine. I think you have a great start here. I am not sure what exactly the "rules" for your Capstones are. My students have to relate multiple ideas. When I saw the graphs, my first thought was "how could you use them if you were the builder of the roller coaster or the owner of the park." Using physics concepts - the fun of acceleration - how could you market your ride.