Problem: A roller coaster car may be approximated by a block of mass m. The car, which starts from rest, is released at a height above the ground and slides along a frictionless track. The car encounters a loop of radius R, as shown. Assume that the initial height is great enough so that the car never loses contact with the track.Ignore stray line on trackFind an expression for the kinetic energy of the car at the top of the loop. Express the kinetic energy in terms of m, g, h, and R.

FREE Expert Solution

Law of conservation of energy:

Ki+Ui+Wnc=Kf+Uf

Wnc is the work done by non-conservative forces. 

Kinetic energy:

K=12mv2

Potential energy:

U=mgh

Work done by nonconservative forces is zero.

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Problem Details

A roller coaster car may be approximated by a block of mass m. The car, which starts from rest, is released at a height above the ground and slides along a frictionless track. The car encounters a loop of radius R, as shown. Assume that the initial height is great enough so that the car never loses contact with the track.

Ignore stray line on track

Find an expression for the kinetic energy of the car at the top of the loop. Express the kinetic energy in terms of m, g, h, and R.

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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Intro to Conservation of Energy concept. You can view video lessons to learn Intro to Conservation of Energy. Or if you need more Intro to Conservation of Energy practice, you can also practice Intro to Conservation of Energy practice problems.