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Rollercoaster Engineering

A Level students spent an edifying day on theme park rides, learning more about applied Physics and Engineering.

Our Lower Sixth Physics students enjoyed a day out at Thorpe Park to explore the Science behind the rides and experience Physics in action.  They started the day with a workshop covering the various Physics concepts that go into the design of a rollercoaster.  On the rides, they used g-force meters to measure acceleration, and discussed transitions from gravitational potential into kinetic energy, and where energy was being dissipated. Later in the day, on the bumper cars, they could feel the effect of the rate of change in momentum personally, clarifying the importance of the cars’ ‘no head-on collisions’ rule! Everyone had a great day out, and students look forward to using the data from Thorpe Park to solve problems when they study circular motion next year.

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