Introduction: Rocket Cars!

Picture of Rocket Cars!

In my Honors Physics Class, our teacher always assigns projects based on cars. To add to the varieties of car labs, our next experiment was a rocket car. 

The main objective was to measure the acceleration as well as speed of the car.  

The track provided was a wooden piece of 2x4 with the distance of 5m. The ends had an L Bracket with holes in it. Two 10-12 gauge wire was tied parallel at both ends.

Our cars had to incorpate some kind of tube for the wire to go through. This kept the car stable while the rocket was moving it forward.

Step 1: Creating the Car

Picture of Creating the Car

1. 1 How wheels Car
2. Saw
3. Duct Tape
4. Electrical Tape
5. Black Paper Clip
6. Hot Glue Gun
7. 1 Bic Bold Point Pen
8. 1 Rocket

1. Keep the hot glue gun ready
2. Remove the ink tube form the inside of the end, leaving the outer tube
3. Saw the ends off to make it a straight tube
4. Saw the tube in half
5. Hot glue both tubes on each side of the car
6. Hot glue the rocket to the top of the car
7. Use electrical tape to wrap around the car
8. Hot glue the clip to the top of the car
9. wrap the metal portion of the clip with duct tape so it is thick
10. Your car is ready!

The first car (in the picture) we made did not work out. It only had one wire which made the car unstable. We were not able to get any data for the first few trials. Also, the Zip tie was not thick enough for the the photogate to catch its movement. Afterwards we figured it out. Having two wires and the black paper clip helped keep the car straight and allowed it to go through all the photogates.

Step 2: The Track

Picture of The Track

1. 2X4 wood
2. 2 L Brackets
3. Drill
4. The program called Logger pro which calculates the acceleration and the times
4. 5 Photogates that have a red eye on the side. The thich paper clips moves through it which allows the photogate to catch its speed.
5. A Laptop
8. Marker
9. Ruler
10. 10-12 gauge wire
11. Zip ties
12. Metal holders, similar to the one in the picture

1. Drill the L Brackets to the both ends of the wood
2. Drill holes into both the brackets according to the height of the tubes on the car.
3. Use one long wire and loop it through the holes. Tighten the wire at one end.
4. Make sure its very tight
5. With the marker write start on the looped wire side, and end on the side the wires are tied.
6. Use the ruler to measure the distance from the photogates equally. Make sure to place one in the beginning and the end to catch the initial and final speeds.
7. At each mark place the photogates
8. Lower according to height of the car

Step 3: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 !

Picture of 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 !

1. A wire with two clips at the end
2. A Battery
3. Starting wire

1. Wire up the car on the track
2. Make sure the Photogates are the right height
3. Insert the starting wire in the Rocket
4. Attach the clips to the two wires coming from the rocket
5. Be a safe distance away from the rocket
6. Click collect on the Program
5. At the other end of the wire, attach the battery to it
6. Watch out !
7. After the rocket reaches the end, wait for it to pop, then it is safe to go next to

The rocket has instantaneous speed, meaning that it immediately reaches a certain speed at a specific instant in time.
The END pictures shows the displacement of the car at the end of the track. It shows the change in position from the starting point to the ending point.

The picture of the car on the track is one from our first trials. It only has one wire from which we learned to add two wires.

Step 4: Results

Picture of Results

Here are the results of our Rocket Lab from the Logger Pro Program.
On the Left hand side are the times and distances, and to the further right is the velocity. On the Right there are the graphs according to the speed of the car. It can be inferred from the graph that the rocket car's speed immediately increased.


noah279878582 (author)2011-03-07

when i tried this, the heat from the rocket melted the glue =/

Zaphod Beeblebrox (author)2009-11-09

o thats why there was a burst of like 12 rocket car ibles.......

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