A favorite amusement park ride for many is a roller coaster. Modern roller coasters often include a “loop the loop” where the coaster gains speed downhill and then travels through a near-vertical loop. If you were designing a roller coaster, what would you need to consider when creating a loop the loop?

In this activity, you will explore the behavior of a ball traveling in vertical circular motion. You will evaluate the energy transformations required to complete a loop the loop.


  • Use video analysis techniques to obtain position, velocity, and time data for a video of a ball transiting a loop.
  • Use models of energy and energy transformation to evaluate the conservation of energy in this system.