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Q & A related to the Physics of Rollercosters‏

Postby marktimothy » Sat May 04, 2013 7:00 am


As a part of a school assignment, my 10 year old son Timothy needs to conduct a Q & A with an expert in a field of his choosing. The field he has chosen is the "physics of rollercoasters". Since we don't know anybody in the field of rollercoasters, I thought maybe we could put a post here to get answers to his questions for this assignment.

Following are the questions that my son Timothy has thought up:

1. What are the basic physics of roller coasters?
2. How do you program a rollercoaster's movements?
3. What do you like most about being a roller coaster expert?
4. What are some improvements that have been made to rollercoasters since being invented?
5. How would you make a roller coaster have the least amount of friction?
6. What types of computers are used for programming a rollercoaster?
7. Has there ever been a rollercoaster that was so dangerous that it had to be torn down?
8. Approximately how much did the most expensive rollercoaster that has ever been built cost?
9. What is your field of expertise pertaining to rollercoasters?
10. How long have you worked in this field?

Thank you.
Mark and Timothy

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Re: Q & A related to the Physics of Rollercosters‏

Postby amyc » Thu May 09, 2013 12:26 pm

Hi Mark and Timothy - I am sorry that you have not yet gotten a reply from an Expert for your questions about roller coasters. We have some information on "interviews" (or the kind of Q&A Timothy is working on) here: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=5681

Our Experts do not always answer interview questions, but sometimes an Expert with experience in your student's area of research will answer if the questions are, really, interview questions -- not questions that can be answered by doing research. I think you might have a better chance of getting some information from someone in the field of physics if you rethink your questions a bit.

Here is some additional information:
Please do NOT post background research questions about your project. Examples of background research questions are: "What ingredients are in bread?" "What is DNA and how does it replicate?" "Why do plants need the sun to survive?" "How does an electric motor work?" It is the student's job to try and answer such questions by doing their own research. Interview questions should be about the expert being interviewed, NOT questions you want to have answered about your project. Examples of good and relevant interview questions are: "How long have you worked in this field?" "Why did you become a scientist?" "What do you like most about being a biologist?" "I think my project is useful and important because [discuss why you think it is useful]. Do you agree?"

Good luck!


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