Mechanics: Work, Energy and Power
Work, Energy and Power: Audio Guided Solution
The Top Thrill Dragster stratacoaster at Cedar Point Amusement Park in Ohio uses a hydraulic launching system to accelerate riders from 0 to 53.6 m/s (120 mi/hr) in 3.8 seconds before climbing a completely vertical 420-foot hill.
a. Jerome (m=102 kg) visits the park with his church youth group. He boards his car, straps himself in and prepares for the thrill of the day. What is Jerome's kinetic energy before the acceleration period?
b. The 3.8-second acceleration period begins to accelerate Jerome along the level track. What is Jerome's kinetic energy at the end of this acceleration period?
c. Once the launch is over, Jerome begins screaming up the 420-foot, completely vertical section of the track. Determine Jerome's potential energy at the top of the vertical section. (GIVEN: 1.00 m = 3.28 ft)
d. Determine Jerome's kinetic energy at the top of the vertical section.
e. Determine Jerome's speed at the top of the vertical section.
Audio Guided Solution
Click to show or hide the answer!
b. 1.47 x 105 J
c. 1.28 x 105 J
d. 1.9 x 104 J
e. 19 m/s
Habits of an Effective Problem Solver
- Read the problem carefully and develop a mental picture of the physical situation. If necessary, sketch a simple diagram of the physical situation to help you visualize it.
- Identify the known and unknown quantities in an organized manner. Equate given values to the symbols used to represent the corresponding quantity - e.g., vo = 0 m/s; a = 4.2 m/s/s; vf = 22.9 m/s; d = ???.
- Use physics formulas and conceptual reasoning to plot a strategy for solving for the unknown quantity.
- Identify the appropriate formula(s) to use.
- Perform substitutions and algebraic manipulations in order to solve for the unknown quantity.
Read About It!
Get more information on the topic of Work, Energy and Power at The Physics Classroom Tutorial.
- Potential Energy
- Kinetic Energy
- Mechanical Energy
- Situations Involving External Forces
- Situations Involving Energy Conservation
Return to Problem Set
Return to Overview