Honors Physics 9
12 January 2015
Mousetrap Car Conceptual Physics Analysis And Report
We originally conceived a mousetrap so grand that it would make a Lamborghini look
like a toy car molded out of melted crayons. We begun the creation process, but we quickly
realized that the dream of a Luxury Sports-Mousetrap Car could not be realized with the
materials that we had. We decided to buy parts for the car that could work well together to create
the synergy of the vehicle that we designed. One of the things that we did to make this mousetrap
car the best on Earth was add the part in the front that swiveled, so that we could adjust how
straight the car would go. With this, we could change the car on the fly if the wheels were bent
(or any other comparable problem) which would cause the car to turn slightly when it was
driving. We also decided to use Cd’s because they would cause the car to move farther than if we
used something smaller than a Cd. The car was also made out of balsa wood, which is very light.
This is important because mass negatively affects acceleration, so the less mass there is on the
car, the more acceleration it will have, which is essential for making a car that can reach far
distances. These are just a few examples of things that we did to make optimize our mousetrap
car for race day.
(A Luxury Sports-Mousetrap Car would be nice! : o )
The following is the Conceptual Physics Analysis questions and answers in which we
were asked to incorporate in our work:
1. What are the two types of friction that affect the performance of your car?
2. What problems related to friction did you encounter and how did you solve them?