The Vortex

The Vortexis a looping, twisting steel stand-up roller coaster designed to give you a hair-raising ride at speeds of up to 20 m/s (45 mph). Without a proper chair to sit down on, this ride is bound to keep you on the edge of your seat!

**Measurements &
Observations**

- As you wait in line, measure how long it takes for each
coach to complete a trip around the track. Do not include the
loading/unloading time as part of this measurement. In order
to achieve a good accuracy, average together at least five
separate timings to find the mean ride time.
Average time of ride ______________ Individual data:

- Using distance = rate x time, and the fact that the ride is
585 m long (1960 ft or 0.364 mile) calculate the average speed
of a coach as it makes one trip around the track.

Average speed of ride ________________

- On the track layout below, use colored highlighters to
indicate where the coaches are moving fastest and slowest.
Also record your three speed estimates from the following
exercise at the appropriate locations.
- Now watch the coaches as they roll around the track from one
of the observation areas. Using a watch for time and your best
distance estimation skills, calculate the approximate speed of
the coach at the three fastest points along the track. Show
your work.
- In the space below, discuss at least three reasons why the average speed you calculated at the start of this worksheet does not (and should not) agree with the published top speed or your estimates from the previous exercise.

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Updated 1/26/2012