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# How does a rat trap car work?

## How does a rat trap car work?

A basic mousetrap car is powered by attaching a string to the “snap” lever on the trap, looping the other end to a small hook on the axle, winding the string around the axle of the car pulling back on the lever and arming it.

## What are the physics of a mousetrap car?

The mousetrap storespotential energyin the form of the spring. That potential energy is converted into kinetic energy in the form of the arm rotating forward. The arm pulls on the wound-up string, which turns the drive wheel dowel, which is connected to the wheels, which makes the car drive forward.

How does Newton’s laws apply to mousetrap car?

Newton’s first law can be observed in a mousetrap car because is evident that the car does not want to move until an outside force acts on it, and then it takes another outside force to make it stop moving, the force of friction. Newton’s second Law states that a = Fnet/m.

### Why is my mousetrap car not moving?

If a mousetrap vehicle is struggling to move and/or needs more acceleration then the lever arms can be shortened in order to increase the pulling force. Keep in mind that you will also have to reposition the mouse trap closer to the drive axle or the system will not work as intended.

### When designing a trap car What are the 2 variables that truly determine performance?

In general, mousetrap competitions have two categories, speed and distance. If you want to optimize for speed, you’ll want to design a car that exerts as much force/rotation as possible on the wheels as fast as possible.

What is a trap car?

: a railroad car used for less-than-carload shipments usually within terminal or city limits : ferry car.

#### How does the length of the lever arm affect a mousetrap car?

Making the length of the mouse trap’s lever arm longer will decrease the pulling force but increase the amount of string that can be pulling from the drive axle. Shortening the length of the lever arm increases the pulling force but decrease the amount of string that can be pulled from the drive axle.

#### How does Newton’s third law affect a mousetrap car?

Newton’s Third Law and the mousetrap car: Newton’s Third Law is also applied to the mousetrap car since the mousetrap spring will have a lot of built up tension directed in the opposite direction that we’d like the car to move in. As this tension is released, the car will move forward.

What is a good distance for a mousetrap car?

The distance between the opened and closed positions of the bar of a mousetrap is typically 10 cm, so this is how much string would be pulled. Wrapped around even a small diameter axle, this amount of string will not create enough revolutions to move the car as far as it might go.

## How does the physics work in the mousetrap car?

Alternatively, the rod can be cleverly set up so that its center of mass falls by a net amount as it “swings” through its range of motion. This will add extra energy to the mousetrap car and it will travel farther as a result. However, this will probably be considered cheating.

## What happens when you put a mouse trap on a car?

The trap will snap forward, propelling your car. A set mousetrap is full of potential energy which, when released, is converted to kinetic (motion) energy. The design of your car allowed that energy to be transferred to the axle to make the wheels turn. When the trap snapped closed, it yanked the string forward.

How to build your own Mousetrap racing car?

Earth shattering secrets for building record setting and winning mousetrap cars and racers. Here you will find all the latest and greatest untold construction secrets so you can build your very own mousetrap vehicle.

### How does rotational inertia apply to Mousetrap vehicles?

Learn all about rotational inertia and how it applies to mousetrap powered vehicles. Energy is the capacity of a physical system to perform work. The law of conservation of energy says that the total energy of a system remains constant, energy can not be created and/or destroyed but can be changed to one form and another.