What makes a mousetrap car go further?

Using large rear wheels allow one rotation of the axle to take the car a much further distance. In other words, a given length of the string from the mousetrap moves the car a greater distance. The last note is to place your mousetrap as close to the front of the car as possible.

How does a mousetrap car function?

A mousetrap car works on the principle of a lever. One end of the lever is connected to a spring. When a force is used to pull up the other end of the lever up, the spring tightens, storing energy. When the lever is released, the stored energy in the spring is transferred back to the lever, and the end snaps back.

How does Newtons 2nd law apply to a mousetrap car?

What forces act on your mousetrap car as it moves?

A moving mousetrap car is affected by two type of friction: airfriction and bearing friction. Airfriction is a large factor only with cars that are moving fast and is nearly negligible for slow-moving distance cars; therefore, in this lab you will only take bearing friction into consideration.

Is overall weight important in mousetrap cars?

To maximize the distance traveled on a flat surface, the friction (internal and external) and the weight of the car must be kept as small as possible. Specifically, this means that: All the components of the mousetrap car must weigh as little as possible, while being strong enough for use in the car.

What kind of string is best for a mousetrap car?

The string has to be strong enough to handle the pulling force but flexible and thin enough to wind tightly around the drive axle. We recommend using a Kevlar based fishing line because its high strength. You should stay away from nylon fishing line and dental floss, these do not work well with mousetrap racers.

How does Newtons 3rd law apply to a mousetrap car?

Newton’s Third Law Its K’nex axle and string attached to our mousetrap increase leverage and tension, providing a larger net force. All of these factors contribute to the faster acceleration of our car. The relationship between an object’s mass m, its acceleration a, and the applied force F is F = ma.

How does weight affect a mousetrap car?

Mousetrap Vehicles: Weight Distribution Weight distribution can have a large effect on a vehicles performance, if the weight of a vehicle is concentrated to far away from the drive wheels there may be a greater tendency for slippage at the start line.

How do mousetrap cars reduce friction?

Try to have a minimum gap of 1/8 inch between the frame and any spacers (or wheels) in order to decrease any rubbing friction. Use thrust washers and graphite powder between spacers (or wheels) and the frame to help reduce the rubbing friction.

How do you increase the mechanical advantage of a mousetrap car?

What is Newton’s third law?

Newton’s third law simply states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So, if object A acts a force upon object B, then object B will exert an opposite yet equal force upon object A.

How is the balance of a wheel around its center related to the car’s performance?

How is the balance of a wheel, around its center, related to the vehicle’s performance? The wheel must be balanced around its center if the vehicle is to perform well otherwise the lack of balance could make for a wobbly, bumpy ride – that is, if the wheel is able to turn at all.

Is friction important in a mousetrap car?

Without friction your mousetrap vehicle would travel forever, learn how to conquer friction. You cannot build a winning mousetrap racer until you know the basics. Perhaps the second most important concept to understand when building a mousetrap powered car is the concept of friction.

What is the most important thing to keep in mind when designing a mousetrap car?

Traction is a major issue when it comes to building a super fast speed-trap racer. If there is not enough traction between the drive wheels and the floor then your mousetrap racer will not be able to accelerate as designed. Use drive wheels that provide a lot of traction on the floor.

What is the equation for figuring out your speed with the mousetrap car?

The work done on the mousetrap arm is found using the formula W = F  d, where F is the force (in Newtons) applied to the mousetrap car spring arm and d is the distance (in m) through which the force is applied.

How do you calculate how far your mousetrap car will go?

combined formulas: the pulling distance (distance) is equal to the length of string (String Length) pulled from the drive axle times the diameter of the drive wheels (d drive wheel) divided by the diameter of the drive axle (d drive axle).

What are the best materials for a mousetrap car?

A mousetrap car can be made from cardboard or balsa wood with CD’s for wheels and axles of wood or brass tubing. Power to drive the wheels is provided by a mousetrap to which a wand and string is attached to the snap arm.

How does friction affect a car?

Friction may slow the car down as it moves along the road, but it also is the force that enables the car to move forward at all. It is the friction force that keeps the tires from sliding on the road. By the same token, it is friction that makes the car come to a stop when the brakes are applied.

How long should dowel be on mousetrap car?

Push your wheels onto the axle rods. If you have larger drive wheels, these should go on the rear axle and the smaller wheels on the front axle. Your axle dowels should extend past your wheel about 1″ (2.5 cm).

What is the fastest mousetrap car design?

The Speed-Trap Racer is the fastest mousetrap powered racer anywhere and was designed after Doc Fizzix’s own record-setting mousetrap racer that traveled 5 meters in 1.2 seconds.

How long should the lever arm be on a mousetrap car?

Build your mousetrap powered car using a 12-inch lever arm and make sure not to glue the mousetrap to the frame.

How does a mousetrap car demonstrate Newton’s first law?

The experiment proves Newton’s first law because the car was in motion with the same speed and direction, until it was acted upon by an unbalanced force (carpet), which made the car slow down.

What simple machines are in a mousetrap car?

The six simple machines are: the inclined plane, the wedge, the screw, the lever, the wheel and axle, and the pulley. Understanding the principles of these simple machines will help you design your mousetrap vehicle.

How much energy is stored in a mousetrap?

The MAXIMUM energy that you could get out of this “standard” mousetrap is approximately 0.815 [J].

Is 3 or 4 wheels better for a mousetrap car?

The answer depends on the contest, if we are to build a super fast accelerating speed-trap racer then over coming rotational inertia is one of the main objectives therefor three wheels will always do better than four wheels when it comes to performance.

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