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Time of a toy car travelling over a surface

  1. Aug 14, 2011 #1
    I have been sending toy cars down inclines of 10, 20, 30 and 40 degrees and I have been trying to work out the times that they should take and am wondering if the times that they take to stop on a surface take should increase or decrease with the distance traveled from the different levels of incline

    Thanks for any help
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 14, 2011 #2
    You should probably use a quadratic equation to calculate the time differences. Is there any mathematicians here? I would also like to know. :)
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  4. Aug 14, 2011 #3
    are you keeping the top extreme of your inclines at the same height? that way you are starting with the same potential energy in all cases; otherwise...

    also, how is the transition from the incline to the flat surface? is it smooth? otherwise, the greater the incline, the more energy you will waste in the impact at the bottom during the transition.
  5. Aug 14, 2011 #4
    Yes the inclines are at the same height and the transition is fairly smooth onto the different surfaces (concrete carpet)

    The main thing is that we are trying to find is the coefficient of friction of that surface. But we were just wondering does the time the car takes to stop increase with the incline or decrease. by the way the distance increases as the incline increases??
  6. Aug 14, 2011 #5
    I think, theoretically speaking, they should all yield the same result
  7. Aug 15, 2011 #6
    Do you mean the toy car rolls down an incline and then it suddenly hits a flat surface, or is the transition smooth? is the flat surface the same material as the incline?
  8. Aug 15, 2011 #7
    Dont worry guys, it was a miscalculation of the results, everything works now, thanks for all your input
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