ERIC Number: EJ1103898
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Application of Newtonian Physics to Predict the Speed of a Gravity Racer
Driscoll, H. F.; Bullas, A. M.; King, C. E.; Senior, T.; Haake, S. J.; Hart, J.
Physics Education, v51 n4 Article 045002 Jul 2016
Gravity racing can be studied using numerical solutions to the equations of motion derived from Newton's second law. This allows students to explore the physics of gravity racing and to understand how design and course selection influences vehicle speed. Using Euler's method, we have developed a spreadsheet application that can be used to predict the speed of a gravity powered vehicle. The application includes the effects of air and rolling resistance. Examples of the use of the application for designing a gravity racer are presented and discussed. Predicted speeds are compared to the results of an official world record attempt.
Descriptors: Prediction, Physics, Scientific Concepts, Spreadsheets, Motion, Equations (Mathematics), Mathematical Formulas
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A