A question about attack angle vs loss in kinetic energy

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Master Pine Head
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A question about attack angle vs loss in kinetic energy

Post by pack529holycross » Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:58 am

as always, forgive me if this thread has already been authored and explored, but as i was contemplating a wooden track build, my thoughts turned to the curved transition section. Here is my qeury - is there a measurable loss of energy in the curved section of bestrack style tracks as the cars are transitioned to the flat sections, to the point that it has a significant variance from a constant radius start section?

I don't know if im saying that correctly, but I have noticed over the years cars have a "settling" movement as they hit the bottom of the curve, indicating the downforce of gravity is having an effect on the car as it relates to the track below. One would think the inertia in that downward direction, being interrupted by the curve section, would absorb more of that potential energy than a constant radius start section, where the interrruption of that energy is more linear rather than abrupt?

That is my pondering question this morning, however hamfisted the wording may be, and as always I thank you in advance for your learned input and experience...

Your friend, in timer..

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Re: A question about attack angle vs loss in kinetic energy

Post by Speedster » Sat Dec 20, 2014 12:38 pm

If I am understanding your question correctly, I think it is answered on Pages 40 to 44 in the book, "The Physics of the Pinewood Derby" by Dr. John Jobe. He explains things far better than I ever could.
If your question is as simple as, Does a rear weighted car have a bigger advantage on a Circular Arc track than an Incline track, I think the answer is "yes". If I've missed the question entirely, I'm sure someone is going to straighten me out.

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