Assume that there is no friction as the cars roll along the track. Identify  which point or points along the track shown on the diagram (1 through 6)  correspond to locations where the first cart of the roller coaster will have a: (a) maximum kinetic energy. Explain.

(b) minimum kinetic energy. Explain.

(c) maximum potential energy. Explain.

(d) minimum potential energy. Explain.

(e) zero kinetic energy. Explain.

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Expert Answers

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In regards to point e)

If KE = 0, then V = 0.

I believe the KE is actually at a minimum, rather than 0, at this point. We might say that there is zero kinetic energy with respect to the vertical plane of reference, but there is still a horizontal component of motion at point 3 which is keeping the cart from falling out of the loop.

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