Stopping a roller coaster train
Journal article, 2012

A roller coaster ride comes to an end. Magnets on the train induce eddy currents in the braking fins, giving a smooth rise in braking force as the remaining kinetic energy is absorbed by the brakes and converted to thermal energy. In this paper an IR camera was used to monitor the temperature of the first braking fin, before, during and after the passage of a train. In addition, the resulting acceleration of the train was modelled and compared to accelerometer data for the Kanonen roller coaster in Liseberg. The results are used to model the distribution of temperature increase over the braking fins. Finally, the cooling of the fins after the passage of the train is analysed and compared to the IR data.

magnetic brakes

roller coaster


energy conservation


Ann-Marie Pendrill

University of Gothenburg

Magnus Karlsteen

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Nuclear Engineering

Henrik Rödjegård

Rödjegård Technology

Physics Education

00319120 (ISSN) 13616552 (eISSN)

Vol. 47 6 728-735

Subject Categories

Educational Sciences

Physical Sciences



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