Plab5 - Introductory Mechanics Problems Laboratory Drag...

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Introductory Mechanics Problems Laboratory 1 Drag Racing Goals: Use the work-energy relation. Understand the difference between power, energy and force. Compare the same result found by two different methods. PROBLEM Drag racing is as old as the automobile. Whether between two teens on a wide straight country road or between two pros on the circuit of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) drivers want what it takes to go fast. Well designed dragsters use a lot of phys- ics and the NHRA has rule that allow different cars to compete on an equal footing. The fastest racers any one is likely to watch are the top fuel dragsters like driver Larry Dixon’s car (picture NHRA). A drag race is an acceleration contest from a standing start between two cars over a measured distance, typically one quarter-mile (1,320 feet). The race begins as the lights flash green 0.4 s after the amber lights are flash on. The world record elasped time for a
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2 Drag Racing top fuel dragster is 4.477 s. Top speed is measured by timing dragsters over the last 66 feet of the race. The record top speed is 332.75 mph. A top fuel dragster has a 500 cubic inch engine that generates 5000 horsepower by burn- ing a special fuel of nitromethane. The nitro is pumped into the engine at 50 gallons per minute. The fuel needs air to burn and a supercharger, spinning at 10,000 rpm, can push 100,000 cubic inches of air a minute. A top fuel dragster must weigh at least 2150 pounds, including the driver. The large rear tires are 18 inches wide and 10 feet in circumference to prevent the car from skidding. The rear wing of the dragster can keep the car pressed to the pavement by generating as much as 6,500 pounds of downward force on the rear tires. Even the smaller front canard wings generate 1,800 pounds of downward force.
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Plab5 - Introductory Mechanics Problems Laboratory Drag...

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