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8.1 Roller Coaster Science   Part of the ride on “X” - a roller coaster at the “Six Flags Magic Mountain” theme park at Valencia in California.

INTRODUCTION   Roller coasters and other fun park rides can be a huge adrenalin rush.  They also teach us a lot about science and the way the world works.  They especially teach us about how machines work.   They use the same science that puts humans safely into space and brings them back again.

In this topic we will study energy, especially as it applies to roller coasters and we’ll find out what is needed to make them into real scream machines.

The concept of energy is a difficult one - it took thinkers, philosophers, scientists and experimenters a very long time to understand energy.   What is heat?  What is cold?  Why do things move when they are heated?  

By the end of this unit,  I hope you will have some understanding of energy - especially one of the most important laws of science,  The Law of Conservation of Energy. 

Start by going to your Wordpress site, making a new post called “Roller Coaster Science” and writing what you already know about energy.

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