Math and Roller Coasters Name: Britany Status: student Age: N/A Location: N/A Country: N/A Date: N/A Question: What does math have to do with roller coasters? I'm doing a math project and our assignment was to choose a subject that was associated with math and i chose roller coasters. Replies: Britany- Math is used in roller coasters for the design of the machine, construction, maintenance, and eventually dismantling. In the design, math is used to calculate energy, momentum, motion, forces, electrical needs, safety, flow of crowds, physiological response measurements, forces, and geometry of the coaster (to name just a few). In the construction, calculation of cost, size and fit of parts, surveying, order of construction, shipping, preparation of site, types and amounts of materials, and measuring that specifications are met are but a few of the uses of mathematics. In maintenance, math is used in passive and dynamic testing of the structure, motors, and cars. Sonography, x-rays; statistical records of corrections, passenger load, incidents, analysis of ridership, confirming that the entire structure and operation remains within design specifications, employee costs, etc. are but a few of the many areas that math is used for maintenance. At the end of the roller coasters life, methods of dismantling, hauling, sizes, viaduct clearance, costs, etc. need to be all calculated. Many people only think of the engineering as the only place that mathematics is used in roller coasters, but there is a safety and business side to the operation that many people forget to consider. There are more mathematical applications than this, but for a quick start, this should help direct your research. ---Nathan A. Unterman Click here to return to the Mathematics Archives

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