Physics Olympics....

sao123

Lifer
May 27, 2002
12,641
197
106
Ok so my little brother is in 12th grade physics, and every year they have this 3 event competition. they didnt do this when I was in HS, so it has my curiosity sparked.

can anyone give me some insight how to accomplish the following....

Event 1:
Build a vehicle which is powered only by a standard mouse trap. Car which travels the farthest wins.
i was thinking about this, and i dont think extenting a pole from the trap, with a long string wrapped around a wheel is the best solution.

Event 2:
Build a barge by folding an 8in x 8in piece of foil. Barge that floats the most pennies wins.

Event 3:
Build a device which will protect an egg from a 2 story drop. Parachuting not allowed.
the egg must land without breaking.



I think this is gonna be a fun weekend.
 

Czar

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
28,510
0
0
the mouse trap car seems to be the most fun and challanging

best is to use those big heavy metal wheels and use the rotation momentum to move the car forward, the mouse trap spring would be used to initialy move the wheel. The wheel then moves the tires. Best bet is to use lego :)
And some toy cars use this

the barge is probably the hardest, sounds easy at first though

the egg drop is not nearly as fun and challanging, one myth buster episode did this except they had a predefined objects they could use
 

Analog

Lifer
Jan 7, 2002
12,755
1
0
I did this back in '80. Mouse trap car was fun. Disassemble the trap and give it a couple extra turns on the spring. Then extend the trap with a lever w/string wound around the axle. Use pinewood derby type axles, low friction bearing surfaces. Then WIN!
 

jaedaliu

Platinum Member
Feb 25, 2005
2,670
1
81
We used to have this joule-mobile competition, where you either had a rubber band, or a 10 cm drop of 1 kg to power a rolly thingy. The best way anyone could figure was a bolt connecting 2 72rpm records, and powering along it. Has fantastic wheel to axis ratio.

the egg device is probably the most interesting because you have many ways of doing it. I've seen one where the egg is placed inside a container which is suspended in another container by the way of many rubber bands.

the penny float is something he should be able to figure out on his own. Construction is the hardest part on that one.
 

Semidevil

Diamond Member
Apr 26, 2002
3,017
0
76
I did the egg thing using those toilet paper roll and lots and lots of cotton to stuff it. another idea is to get a box and pad it w/ cotton, but also, tie the egg inside the box where it suspends midair inside the box
 

sao123

Lifer
May 27, 2002
12,641
197
106
Originally posted by: jaedaliu
the egg device is probably the most interesting because you have many ways of doing it. I've seen one where the egg is placed inside a container which is suspended in another container by the way of many rubber bands.
This was my first thought, but then i decided i should fill the innermost container with a thick viscuous fluid like motor oil or molasses so there is no bounceage.
 

Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
26,319
1,707
126
There are a couple of tricks to the barge... If you can provide your own water, salt it. Objects have more buoyancy in salt water. What you want to do is take the 8X8 piece of foil and fold it so it has more surface area on the bottom. That's how you acheive maximum float...because it can only hold up the weight of the water it displaces.
 

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