Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

A mouse trap powerd car

  1. May 29, 2008 #1
    It's been a while since I posted here.

    For my physics class we have a project for a mousetrap powered car. Basically it is trying to figure out a way to use the energy from a mouse trap to power a car.

    For our design I came up with a propeller to push the car froward. Basically it would have a mousetrap(facing to the side) would be attached to an axle and the end of the axle would be a propeller.

    This may not be the best idea but I think it would have a few advantages:
    • It conserve more energy as it would difficult to use all the force of the mousetrap at once
    • It is a much more creative design then having a mousetrap simply attached the wheels(we get extra points for a more creative design)
    • It would last longer. I remember those "[URL [Broken] propeller
      [/URL] where by moving your hands in opposite directions they can fly and stay in their for a few seconds

    I just have some questions:
    • What would be the best propeller for the design
    • how much force does an average spring loaded mousetrap have when it set
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. May 30, 2008 #2

    The problem with propellers is the friction and the lack of thrust. If you're shooting for length of the car.....inevitably the person that wins has the longest lightest stick taped to the top of the trap hinge. At the end of this stick, a string is secured to the axle of the wheels. Its an exercise in mechanical advantage. Nothing more....nothing less. Don't think about it to much. It's almost hard to watch.....but it works the best. The car will tip as it moves, but it travels the furthest.
  4. May 30, 2008 #3
    Thanks for your advice( I knew that there would be something wrong with my propeller idea).

    Your idea would work but:
    most of the examples our physics teacher had and many of the ones I could find on Google was very similar. Since I think some of the other group members need to get a good grade on this project I want to come up with a "original"(meaning that no other group in our class will probably have the same design). So I thought what if you had a fan attached to the top of the trap hinge and use the huge amount of air being pushed to the back of the car to make move froward.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook