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A car is riding on a country road that resembles a roller coaster track. If the car travels with uniform speed, compare the force it exerts on a horizontal section of the road to the force it exerts on the road at the top of a hill and at the bottom of a hill. Explain.

A car is riding on a country road that resembles a roller coaster track. If the car travels with uniform speed, compare the force it exerts on a horizontal section of the
 road to the force it exerts on the road at the top of a hill and at the bottom of a hill. Explain.

Grade:upto college level

1 Answers

Navjyot Kalra
askIITians Faculty 654 Points
6 years ago
It is assumed that surfaces are frictionless and the weight of the car remains constant throughout its journey.
When the car travels at a uniform speed on the horizontal section of the road, the weight (say W ) of the car acts on the road. Since the car is in vertical equilibrium, a force from the ground/road acts on the car against the weight of the car, this force from the road is called the normal force (N) .
The diagram below shows the car at horizontal section of the road:
232-1920_1.PNG
When the car is at the top of the hill its weight W acts on the road. Since the car is in vertical equilibrium, a force from the ground/road acts on the car against the weight of the car, this force from the road is called the normal force (N).
The diagram below shows the car at the top of the roller coaster road:
232-1104_1.PNG
When the car is at the bottom of the hill its weight W acts on the road. Since the car is in vertical equilibrium, a force from the ground/road acts on the car against the weight of the car, this force from the road is called the normal force (N).
The diagram below shows the car at the bottom of the roller coaster road:

232-999_1.PNG
It is important to note that when the car is at the top or the bottom, it becomes parallel to the horizontal surface momentarily, therefore the entire weight W acts on the road.

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