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Gravity car/module/contraption thingy

  1. Feb 28, 2012 #1
    For physics we have to come up with a module that works just on gravity. We're racing them, so aerodynamics are a major concern. I know it should be dense, mass packed close to the center of mass, but I don't know if I should use wheels, or cylinders, or where to go from the basics :/ any ideas on what would be the fastest, most aerodynamic gravity contraption to roll down an incline?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 28, 2012 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Do some experiments: Take a toy car roll it down a hill. Take a can of beans and roll it down a hill. which one rolls straighter. Add some weight to the car...

    Keep in mind you want to keep friction to a minimum. Is the road surface bumpy then maybe wheels will work better (less contact on the road than a cylinder).

    Checkout soapbox derby designs. Oh and lest I forget to mention: do some experiments.
  4. Feb 28, 2012 #3
    The plane is just a regular piece of plywood, fairly smooth! Thank you!
  5. Feb 29, 2012 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    so now look at the front of your module, if its a cylinder then it looks like a rectangle coming toward you. Next look at a car coming toward which presents less area? so now which is better wheels or cylinder?
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