It's the Physics That Makes Roller Coasters So ExcitingJennifer Ouellette9/04/16 4:15pmFiled to: roller coastersPhysicsSciencefree fall274EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalink Image: ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock If you’re taking advantage of the long holiday weekend to visit your favorite theme park, take a moment to learn a little about the underlying physics of roller coasters, via the latest video from the folks at SciShow. Advertisement All roller coasters basically involve Newtonian physics 101: inertia, gravity, acceleration, and friction. The higher the train rises, the greater the distance gravity must pull it back down, and the greater the resulting speeds. A roller coaster is constantly shifting between potential and kinetic energy, and the constant variation in forces is part of what makes riding a roller coaster so exhilarating.This is pretty familiar ground. But SciShow host Michael Aranda also goes into some cool details about the hydraulic launch systems used in today’s coasters, as well as the permanent magnets used in cutting-edge braking systems (as opposed to the standard friction braking). Advertisement Just something to ponder when you’re momentarily hanging in free fall at the top of your favorite coaster.[Laughing Squid]Coaster to CoasterWhy Roller Coaster Loops Are Never Circular The New VR Coaster at Six Flags Is the Future of VomitingI Want to Ride All These Insane Roller Coasters from the Centrifuge Brain ProjectJennifer Ouellettejennifer.email@example.com@JenLucPiquantJennifer Ouellette is science editor of Gizmodo.