Physics and Astronomy

Potential Energy Cart
Objective The competitor shall design and construct a vehicle which has as its power source a 0.5 kg mass. This mass is not allowed to explode, burn, vapourize or undergo nuclear fission! It is however allowed to fall in a controlled fashion and provide propulsion to the vehicle.
Participants Teams of up to six.
Materials Hints on Construction.
a The rims of the wheels from your little brother's toy cars make excellent pulley wheels.
b Old 45RPM records make good wheels as do film cans and lids from glass jars.
c Monofilament fishing line is, in this situation, the nearest to "inextensible" string.
You may borrow a 500g mass to test your work of art.

1. The vehicle must be built from "scratch" BY THE COMPETITOR.
2. It may be no more than 50 cm tall.
3. No external launch apparatus is allowed.
4. It may not shed mass as it moves.

Judging 1. The vehicle which travels the greatest distance measured in a straight line shall be declared the winner.
2. Each entry will be allowed three 'runs' and the longest will be counted.
3. In the event of a tie the second best run shall determine the higher place.
Source Almonte and District High School Physics Olympics.

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