# Mousetrap Car Research Paper

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The Energies Behind a Mousetrap Car There are a number of factors that contribute to the motion of a mousetrap car: force, speed, friction, torque, and elastic potential energy. Force is either a push or a pull on an object, which can cause the object to quicken its pace, decelerate, persist in the same place, or alter its direction. When they are in equilibrium, the net force is zero and the object does not move, since the force pulling down on it is equal and opposite to the force of the other direction pushing up. In order to change the speed of the mousetrap car and make it go faster, the two forces must be unbalanced. According to one of Newton’s laws, an action in one direction must have an equal action in the opposite direction. As…show more content…
It results from two surfaces being pressed together. The harder they are pressed, the more effort it will take to move them. Because they are rubbing against each other, the speed of the vehicle slows down. The texture of the surfaces is also a major influence. Different factors can contribute to the amount of friction the car will experience: air resistance, the roughness of the floor and the shape and material of the wheels. A smoother floor and wheels will give less friction, since they have little resistance and will allow the other surface to slide past easily, preventing it from slowing down. Thus, the types of materials will affect how much friction there is and how fast it will go. Additional, the rubbing of two objects produces heat in which useful kinetic energy is lost, slackening the vehicle down. The goal is to reduce friction. Torque is the twisting force that leads to rotation. The axis of rotation is the point where the object rotates. When the radius of an axle is decreased, it rotates faster because its resistance to rotation also decreases. Similarly, if it has less mass it will also rotate faster. A larger radius, however, is slower as its mass is focused along the outside of the circle. Moreover, the more torque used means the change in its rotation will also be