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Magnetic Car experiment

  1. Apr 10, 2007 #1
    Hey guys. My mate, who is from a non-physics background, proposed the idea of a magnetic car to me. I'm currently doing high-school physics but have not yet covered magnetism. My basic question is, would this in fact work? Maybe he stumbled across something quite clever or maybe it'd just plain suck hehehe. Here is a pic of his drawing :p

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 10, 2007 #2


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    Gold Member

    What direction is the car supposed to move in? (this is an important point)
  4. Apr 10, 2007 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    What propels the car, exactly? The photo doesn't show anything that could.
  5. Apr 10, 2007 #4


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    My initial vote is -b-, because it looks like a perpetual motion idea.
  6. Apr 10, 2007 #5
    How is this thing supposed to move, exactly?
  7. Apr 10, 2007 #6
    I understand your mate's idea, that must involve the smart-breaking-system: front wheels break and stop, then let magnet attract to increase the beam tension and store the energy on the beam or even springs, then break the back wheels and then release the front wheels - let the beam or springs (with stored energy) to push the front wheels, very very clever perpetual system, he is using the free,cheap and clean magnetic powers!!! But I think the energies used to break the wheels will also be very great, maybe used at the same rate as the magnetic power used? I don't know. Could be or could be not, if not, then this system is the solution to new energy!!! Great!@

    Also, remind you that the magnetic energy will be used up sooner or later in this sytem.

    We could manufacture this kind of spring engine! Why not.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2007
  8. Apr 10, 2007 #7
    Sorry, rethinking it again, I was wrong, because when the magnets are closer, that means the attraction force is getting much greater, the beam or springs need much more energy to fight off the magnetic power, they cancel each others out, that means no more or very little energy left to drive the car, also consider the energy is needed to break the wheels, it will become a waste of power, LOL. Sigh, no energy comes free.
  9. Apr 10, 2007 #8


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    Looks to me like either one pole repelling a like one ahead of itself, or one attracting an opposite one behind itself. Either way, it's not going anywhere. If one of those magnets was mounted off of the vehicle, however, the idea would work (as in maglev trains).
  10. Apr 11, 2007 #9
    Thanks guys. I wouldn't read too much into his thoughts behind it. Basically, what you see in the diagram is what you get. I was thinking along the lines of Electron with "How is this thing supposed to move, exactly?"
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