Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The yearning to feel your gut drop­-the roller coaster as a machine, an economic system, and an experience

05.06.2007
Riding a roller coaster is a first-class ego trip, an adrenalin kick that takes the rider on a trip, albeit only back to the starting point. Helena Csarmann at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has studied how an apparently insignificant experience can constitute the foundation for a technologically advanced and profitable industry.

The yearning to feel your gut drop­-the roller coaster as a machine, an economic system, and an experience

In 2007 there are more than 2,000 roller coasters in the world. The amusement park industry all over the world turns over more than 20 billion dollars each year. New, ever higher and faster roller coasters are constantly being built.

Through interviews with constructors, owners, and enthusiasts who circle the globe in quest of the ultimate experience, Helena Csarmann has studied three different perspectives on the roller coaster, its construction, its investments, and the consumption of the experience.

"The competitive perspective permeates all three aspects, for cultural or economic reasons, or simply because G forces are fun. Engineers, amusement park operators, and the enthusiasts all compete when they construct, purchase, or ride roller coasters," says Helena Csarmann.

The dissertation has two main objectives. One is to study and explain roller coasters and their industrial economy. The other is to show the often forgotten whimsy of the driving forces that sometimes lie behind technological and economic development, using the roller coaster as an example.

Helena Csamann's aim is to provide an in-depth picture of industrial economy-­that an apparently insignificant experience can be the basis of a profitable industry.

"You can make money on amusement park rides, so they do possess utility according to economic theory. At the same time, the end product in this case does not constitute a necessity of life. In other words, the image of companies as producers of the necessities of life does not accord with the case of the roller coaster," she says.

Riding a roller coaster is a first-class ego trip, an adrenalin kick that takes the rider on a trip, albeit only back to the starting point. Helena Csarmann at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has studied how an apparently insignificant experience can constitute the foundation for a technologically advanced and profitable industry.

Both the final product and the work behind it are seen, depending on who you ask, as deadly serious, she maintains. One of the aims of her research was to understand just how serious is this wish and will to let your sense experiences rule.

"There is a calculable part, the technological and economic, and a non-calculable part, all about just the right feeling in your gut, created by properly pitched curves and drops and by the form and color of the roller coaster," says Helena Csarmann.

The history of the roller coaster is a long one. The idea for one of the first roller coasters on Coney Island outside New York in the late 19th century was suggested to its constructor by a tourist attraction in Pennsylvania, a railroad that was originally used for transporting coal with the help of gravity.

The competitive element between constructors and owners has driven the industry to create ever bigger, faster, and more elaborate roller coasters.

"Kingda Ka" at Six Flags Park in Jackson, New Jersey, which is the fastest (206 km/hr) and highest (139 meters) roller coaster for 2007, cost 25 million dollars.

Disney's "Expedition Everest," the company's largest roller coaster, cost four times that sum. The roller coaster experience is a major investment, employing advanced engineering.

"The titillating feeling of expectation we feel standing in line, the nervousness when it's finally our turn to get on, the jolt of the roller coaster starting, and the suction we feel when the speed changes-­all of this is the result of the efforts behind the construction of the roller coaster," says Helena Csarmann.

Title of dissertation: The Roller Coaster­The Quest for the Holy G Force

Contact: Helena Csarmann, cell phone: +46 (0)73-9137828; helenacsarmann@indek.kth.se

Magnus Myrén; myren@admin.kth.se; +46-705 70 43 50

Magnus Myrén | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Architecture and Construction:

nachricht Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice
17.01.2017 | EML European Media Laboratory GmbH

nachricht Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes
16.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE

All articles from Architecture and Construction >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>