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Roller Coasters: The Physics and History 102

Roller Coasters: The Physics and History 102

Physics
The 1980s introduced many variations on the old designs, incorporating suspended coasters and stand-up coasters. One of the worst roller coaster accidents happened in the mid 1980s, which reminds us that accidents certainly do happen, but most rides are very safe and are tested repeatedly, and stricter standards are set especially after tragic accidents such as these. Roller coasters began to grow higher and have steeper declines. Once popular train-type cars could no longer handle the sharp turns, so the coasters began using shorter cars for individuals to ride. The rides got wilder and more exciting, and even more growth for theme parks was experienced during the last years of the milennium. Theme parks continued to be successful, and more and more rides were introduced for fans to enjoy. Once…
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Roller Coasters: The Physics and History 101

Roller Coasters: The Physics and History 101

Physics
Hundreds of years ago in the 16th and 17th centuries, "roller coasters" began as huge ice slides in Russia. Some slides were as high as 70 feet as far as we know. Passengers sat on some type of carriage or sled, usually with some added fur or straw for comfort and padding, and slid down the icy slope. Applying the technique of friction, sand was used towards the end of the slide to keep the slide from going too fast and to also keep the slide from crashing. Eventually, the sleds became more ornate and were usually fashioned of wood, often with iron runners to make the sleds more elaborate, faster, and more fanciful. Most people have heard all about the history of Coney Island and the first American roller…
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