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Maximum Possible Acceleration

In the soapbox Derby, young participants build non-motorized cars with very low friction wheels. Cars race by rolling down a hill. The track at Akron’s Derby Downs, where the national championship is held, begins with 55-ft  long section tilted 13° below horizontal.

a) What is the maximum possible acceleration of a car moving down this stretch of track? 


Fnet= Fgravity
=> amax = mgravity  x  sin(13)
=>amax = 9.8 x 0.22

= 2.20 m/sec2


b) If a car starts from rest and undergoes this acceleration for the full l, what is its final speed in m/s?

55 feet converted to meters = 16.76 meters

v2 = u2 + 2as
=>v2 = 0 + 2 x 2.20 x 16.76
=>v = √ (73.74)

= 8.59 m/s

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