Physics

When a consumer chooses a motor vehicle there are many choices to make other than the color and number of passengers one want to carry. Luckily many of these choices have already been determined through continuous development on the racetrack and the crash test dummy. The evolution of motor vehicles has come through consistent application of the laws of physics.

Some consumers buy a car for their looks, performance and safety. I am going to look into the performance aspect of it. Variables such as the mass of a vehicle, its engine power and its breaking ability, choice of brakes and tyre material are just some of the concepts in the realm of physics, such as mass, time, velocity, acceleration, and friction.

Newton’s 2nd law, F=ma, puts the acceleration and the mass of a car into perspective. If you want a higher acceleration (a) then you need a smaller mass (m). For performance vehicles you need to have the lightest weight possible to achieve the greatest acceleration. Removing all the unnecessary equipment like back seats does this. Racecars are also made of a Very light material called Kevlar to make them even lighter. A motor bike however has a very small mass there fore they would have a much larger acceleration than a car and a truck would have a much smaller acceleration than both a car and a motorbike due to its great mass. Technology has developed another way to get more force out of an engine by turbo or fuel injection. Which get more fuel into the pistons of the engine and give out a greater force therefore a larger acceleration.

The one thing in an engine that produces the force needed to make a car accelerate, is called torque. Torque is produced in the engine by a rotational movement. A thing called a crankshaft drives the wheels, there are several rods connected to this crankshaft. Those rods are what give the crankshaft its force to drive the wheels. Things called pistons are above the rods and they give a force onto the rods at right angles. An explosion causes this force from a spark igniting fuel inside the pistons. The more rods there are on the crankshaft he more power an engine has, for example. a V8 engine would have 8 pistons connected to the rods turning the crankshaft, therefore they would get more power than a V6 which only has 6.

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