Day 93: Finding the Mass of My Car Using Newton’s Laws

This is a classic physics activity. A student pushed my car (in neutral) with a constant force so the car would accelerate due to his push. We measure his pushing force with a bathroom scale, time and distance with stopwatches and a trundle wheel. We did this on a slight incline to compensate for friction.

Pushing force = 50 lbs = 222 N
distance = 10 m
time = 11 s

What’s the mass of my car?


About Frank Noschese

HS Physics Teacher constantly questioning my teaching.

3 responses to “Day 93: Finding the Mass of My Car Using Newton’s Laws”

  1. Anonymous says :

    Fun activity. Once again you make me wish I could take HS Physics again (I would prolly be a Physics teacher now too).

  2. Erwin Calverley says :

    Now, this was fun! Cars can be helpful in terms of experiments in Physics. You can calculate the mass of your car in case you run out of gas so you know how heavy it is when you start pushing it. LOL!

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