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Gravity Cruiser

Gravity Cruiser Design Challenge Glossary

Abrupt Stop When a gravity cruiser comes to a stop because its string is attached to the axle and has been pulled taut
Ballast Extra weight added to the chassis as necessary to keep the cruiser's wheels in contact with the ground
Axle Winds The number of times the string can be wound about the drive axle as the weight is lifted to its highest position; the winds are a function of axle diameter and the distance between the weight's highest and lowest positions
Calculated Distance The distance the cruiser is expected to travel, assuming the string unwinds from the axle completely and the cruiser does not coast beyond that point
Chassis The body of the gravity cruiser, consisting of axles, wheels, and base platform
Circumference The distance around a circle
Coasting Stop When a gravity cruiser gradually slows to a stop after its string has become completely unwound and is disconnected from the axle
Diameter The distance across a circle, measured through its center
Drive Axle The axle around which the string is wrapped
Force A push or pull on an object
Friction Rubbing between two surfaces, which causes energy loss
Fulcrum The pivot point around which a lever rotates
Hypothesis An untested idea about how things work
Inertia The tendency of an object to resist changes in motion
Kinetic Energy The energy an object has due to its motion
Lever A bar that pivots about a fixed point (a fulcrum)
m metric unit for the meter
Moment Arm The magnitude of force applied to a rotational system at a distance from the axis of rotation (the fulcrum)
Momentum The product of mass and velocity; the more a gravity cruiser has when the string disconnects from the axle, the farther it will coast before stopping.
Pi The ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter; which is approximately 3.14
Potential Energy The energy stored in an object
Prototype An experimental version of a design or product
Torque A turning or twisting force
Travel Distance The actual distance a gravity cruiser travels during a trial without extra pushes or extra help ( compared with calculated distance)
Troubleshooting The process of systematically determining reasons for malfunctions and finding ways to fix them
Weight (In this case) The pennies attached to the lever; the magnitude of the weight is equal to the mass of the pennies multiplied by the acceleration of gravity
Created by: salleyj