Physics Mousetrap Lab

Topics: Force, Classical mechanics, Potential energy Pages: 3 (457 words) Published: May 5, 2014

Mouse Trap Racecar Project

Eric Lamond


April 29, 2014

The objective project was to use our knowledge of physic properties to create a working car that was powered by a mouse trap. I found that the lighter the car was and the more traction the car had, the further it travelled.

The purpose of this project was to create a car that is powered by a mouse trap. We were to use our knowledge of physics laws to make the best car we can. I knew from Newton’s Law, F=ma, that if my car had a lower mass it would accelerate faster and travel further. Materials

Mouse Trap
4 CDs
Wood Paint Stirring Sticks
Plastic Coat Hanger
Fishing Wire
Styrofoam Base – 0m
Wood Frame Base – 6m
Extended Coat Hanger- 9m
Balloon Strips on Driving Wheels- 10 m
Newton’s 1st Law: If the net force on an object is zero the object will stay at rest or continue at the same velocity. The car will stay at rest until the mouse trap is released, causing an unbalanced force which spins the axle, propelling the car forward.

Newton’s 2nd Law: If the external force on the object is not zero it will accelerate in the direction of the net force, F=ma. If the car has a lighter mass it will accelerate faster. Newton’s 3rd Law: For every force there is an equal reaction force in the opposite direction. When the mouse trap pulls the string backwards, it spins the axle forwards with the same force driving the car forward.

Energy was conserved in the arm of the mouse trap. When the arm of the mouse trap is pulled back there is potential energy stored up. When the arm of the mouse trap is returning to its original position the potential energy gets converted into kinetic energy. The different types of energy involve were mechanical energy, the energy that caused its movement, gravitational energy, which kept the car on the ground, and sound energy which created the...
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