Andrew's Car Experiment


Research:

Ways to reduce Friction:

  • Lubricate the wheels and axels for smoother surfaces. Graphite is a good lubricant.
  • Reduce the mass of the car. The lighter the better. If you are racing down a diagnal ramp, some mass is needed so that the gravity affects it more creating more speed.
  • Create an aerodynamic design to reduce fluid friction as much as possible.

Facts:

  • With a cruved back to the car, the air flow around it can actually help push it forward due to trubulance.
  • adding wheels to the car can change sliding friction into rolling friction. However, use the least amount of wheels to keep the amount of friction low along with the mass.



Lab Setup:

Question:

In what way can friction be reduced so that it is effective on a car.

Hypothesis:

Reducing mass and changing sliding friction to rolling friction are effective way of reducing friction to make a car go faster. Also, reducing fluid friction by making a car more areodynamic may also be effective.

Materials:

  • Block of Wood

Independant Variable:

Amount of Friction

Dependent Variable:

Speed of the Car

Procedure:

  • First, measure the mass and friction of the wood using a spring scale and a beam balance. You can measure friction by attaching the spring scale and pulling until the object moves, then recording the force used.
  • Next, use sandpaper, wheels, etc. to reduce the friction of the block of wood.
  • Test for the new cars weight and friction to see if you have improved the car.
  • Next, test the aproximate speed of the car.
  • If improvements can still be made, repeat step 2 and 3.

Conclusion:


Results:
  • My car took 0.1 newton of force to move compared to the control car which took 0.5 newtons of force.