Question: How Does A Mousetrap Car Work Physics?

The mousetrap storespotential energyin the form of the spring. That potential energy is converted into kinetic energy in the form of the arm rotating forward. The arm pulls on the wound-up string, which turns the drive wheel dowel, which is connected to the wheels, which makes the car drive forward.

How does a mousetrap car work?

A basic mousetrap car is powered by attaching a string to the “snap” lever on the trap, looping the other end to a small hook on the axle, winding the string around the axle of the car pulling back on the lever and arming it.

Is a mousetrap kinetic or potential energy?

Mousetraps in Motion. A mousetrap is a stellar example of converting potential energy to kinetic energy. The spring of the mousetrap is held back with a bunch of potential energy and, once released, snaps forward in a burst of kinetic energy.

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How does a mousetrap car lose energy?

In a perfect universe a mousetrap vehicle would roll forever once the potential energy is changed into kinetic energy. But in our universe there is friction and in order to overcome friction your mousetrap car will have to do work. Energy is not destroyed by this process but it is being converted into heat and sound.

What provides the force in a mousetrap car?

In the case of our mousetrap car, the mousetrap lever arm is very long and moves through a great amount of distance. Because the axle spins through such a small distance, a great amount of Force (in N) is available to spin the wheels.

What will make a mousetrap car go faster?

A speedy mousetrap car will have smaller wheels (faster acceleration), a shorter lever arm (increased torque, but smaller travel distance), a larger axle (increased acceleration) and will generally be smaller to decrease air resistance.

What is the fastest mousetrap car?

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 much energy is in a mousetrap?

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

What is the potential energy in a mousetrap?

When a mousetrap is set, the spring in the center is compressed, becoming a source full of potential energy. This energy is being stored, not used, but as soon as the trap is released, it is converted to kinetic energy (the energy of motion) that propels the snapper arm forward.

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Why is my mousetrap car not moving?

If a mousetrap vehicle is struggling to move and/or needs more acceleration then the lever arms can be shortened in order to increase the pulling force. Keep in mind that you will also have to reposition the mouse trap closer to the drive axle or the system will not work as intended.

How long should a mousetrap car be?

The ideal size for an ultra big wheel on a long distance mousetrap racer seams to be somewhere between 10 and 15 inches. And the ideal size for a drive wheel on a speed-trap racer seams to be between 2 and 3 inches but no more than 4 inches.

How long should the string be on a mousetrap car?

The length of the string is about 25″. Therefore the string can be wrapped around the dowel 25/0.785 = About 31.8 times. So the minimum distance travelled will be the number of times the string can wrap around the dowel multiplied by the circumference of the wheels, which is 31.8 x 14.92 = 474.456″, or about 39.5ft!

What happens if the mousetrap is mounted too far from the drive axle?

What happens if the mousetrap is mounted too far from the drive axle? You will lose pulling force or energy to friction. The energy goes too quickly and you lose pulling force.

Where should I place the mousetrap for the best performance?

For optimal performance the mouse trap should be positioned on the chassis so that the tip of the lever arm falls directly above the drive axle when the mouse trap is in the fully wound position (as pictured bellow). If the mouse trap is not aligned properly with the drive axle energy will be wasted off the start.

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How does Newton’s third law apply to a mousetrap car?

Newton’s third Law states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. As the mousetrap car moved across the floor, gravity was pushing it down and the car was pushing the floor up also, car pushes floor backward, floor pushes car forward.

How does gravity affect a mousetrap car?

The force of gravity remains unchanged for all angles. The difference between the two forces causes the force down the ramp to increase. The greater the angle required to move the car, the more friction there will be acting against the car’s motion.

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