Marble Roller Coasters and Physics
Fun Facts with Physics and Marble Roller Coasters
There are many questions SpaceRailers have when it comes to “WHY” the marbles are able to run the SpaceRail track and not fall off and can stay on the ball roller coaster. We’ve created this blog to answer those questions and to give you some fun educational facts about SpaceRail’s marble roller coaster kit.
Gaining Energy with Elevation:
Let’s begin with the beginning part of the marble run: the elevator. When the SpaceRails ball is going up the spiraled
elevator, this is called potential energy and it increases as the ball gets higher and higher. The SpaceRail Level 9 elevator is much taller than Level 1’s elevator, therefore it stores more potential energy or energy to be used to go up and down the rails.
The Drops in your Marble Run:
The next part of the marble run is the drops and hills. When the ball is released from the elevator, the potential
energy becomes kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is a body (the marble) in motion. With any type of roller coaster, the higher the drop the more kinetic energy it has to go up the next hilltop. As the marble goes down a rail, it is gaining kinetic energy and when it goes up, it is losing kinetic energy.
The drops get higher and higher with each level you increase with your SpaceRail marble run. If you start with SpaceRail Level 1 and build your marble roller coaster to Level 9, you will see the difference in how much more kinetic energy is used as the drops become higher.
Everyone wonders how the marble stays on the track when going upside down in the loops on their SpaceRail. This is when inertia and gravity becomes involved. Inertia says that an object in motion will stay in motion, unless an outside force changes its course. The marble in your marbler roller coaster is moving fast and the direction of the marble changes by the curve of the loop. Inertia is what presses the marble to the outside rails of the loop. Although gravity is pulling the marble down, the accelerated force is stronger and is pulling the ball upwards. In short, the acceleration is counteracting the gravity pull.
Now, when you build your marble roller coaster set you can identify these different lessons of physics. These laws of physics can also help you to build your marble run. Check and see if your marble coaster has enough potential energy, kinetic energy, and enough accelerated force to define gravity. Good luck!