Loop the Loop! The Thrills and Chills of Amusement Parks by Jordan Brown and Mark Borgions
WHY DOESN'T THE ROLLER COASTER CAR COME OFF THE TRACK WHEN IT GOES UPSIDE DOWN?
What? You mean nothing is holding those pathetically little wheels on that track?
Yes, something is, and there is a very important scientific principle behind that convenient truth!
Amusement park rides don't need much hyped-up advertising, but sometimes scientific principles aren't quite so exciting as going loop-the-loop on a coaster. Still, Simon and Schuster's Spotlights of The Science of Fun Stuff series explains why all these exciting rides do what they do in their The Thrills and Chills of Amusement Parks (Science of Fun Stuff) (Simon Spotlight Books, 2016)
In the section "The Forces Behind the Fun," this inexpensive little early reader introduces the youngsters to the concepts of Newton's laws: "A moving object will keep moving at the same speed in the same direction unless something slows it down: the speed of an object changes when outside force acts on it," and "For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction." How centrifugal and centripetal forces act on those thrill-a-minute rides will give kids something different to think about while that roller coaster car makes that long climb to the first drop,
but knowledge that those fortuitous facts are on their side on the downhill drop is comforting.
Some of the other fun stuff explained are how those trick mirrors in the fun house make kids look goofy and even how that strange machine spins grains of sugar into long pink wisps wound around a paper handle--the science of cotton candy. Other theme park experiences explained are ice cream's "brain freeze" or how those magicians of the midway use their knowledge of physics to stack those bottles in a way to make it hard to win that neon green Teddy bear!
Other books in Simon's entertainingly educational series include The Innings and Outs of Baseball (Science of Fun Stuff), The Cool Story Behind Snow (Science of Fun Stuff), and The Explosive Story of Fireworks! (History of Fun Stuff).