Law of conservation of energy:

$\overline{){{\mathbf{K}}}_{{\mathbf{i}}}{\mathbf{+}}{{\mathbf{U}}}_{{\mathbf{i}}}{\mathbf{+}}{{\mathbf{W}}}_{{\mathbf{nc}}}{\mathbf{=}}{{\mathbf{K}}}_{{\mathbf{f}}}{\mathbf{+}}{{\mathbf{U}}}_{{\mathbf{f}}}}$

W_{nc} is the work done by non-conservative forces.

Kinetic energy:

$\overline{){\mathbf{K}}{\mathbf{=}}\frac{\mathbf{1}}{\mathbf{2}}{\mathbf{m}}{{\mathbf{v}}}^{{\mathbf{2}}}}$

Potential energy:

$\overline{){\mathbf{U}}{\mathbf{=}}{\mathbf{m}}{\mathbf{g}}{\mathbf{h}}}$

Work done by nonconservative forces is zero.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

What professor is this problem relevant for?

Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Criss' class at USF.