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Name: Danielle
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Question:
I am in 7th grade and I am doing a science fair project on how wind affects the velocity of roller coasters, and I cannot find anything that will help me.



Replies:
In general, wind effects are small. It is usually well within the engineering specifications for the coaster. Most roller coasters are not run in winds higher than about 35 mph because of particulates in the air that can collide with riders. Under more ambient conditions, the rides feel winds in excess of 60 mph because of the roller coaster's motion through the air, not because of a wind. With much dust, etc. in the air kicked up by higher winds, a hazard exists for harm, so the coaster is shut down. The biggest source of friction is air resistance, which does slow the coaster.

---Nathan A. Unterman



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