Cars

The physics behind cars and their effect on the environment

The Physics Behind Cars

Linear Motion

Cars move in a linear motion as travel down the road. We are able to calculate many unknown values, such as velocity, position, acceleration, distance, and time by using the equations described below.
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Circular Motion

Although cars are travelling in a linear motion as they move down the road, the wheels of cars model circular motion. From the equations described we may find many unknown values, such as rotation angles, time, torque, displacement, and velocity much as we did when observing the car's linear motion. We can also analyse not only the circular motion of the wheels, but we can observe the motion created as a car turns a corner.
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Circular-Motion-part-B
Here we can explore the fastest speed you can go before you skid around a corner and at what speed your car will overturn.

Effects on The Environment

Cars have continued to be the cause of the depletion in the world's natural resources and the cause of global warming. The main types of greenhouses gases that are produced by vehicles are carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Vehicles account for 74% of global carbon dioxide emissions.
Canada's Emission Trends Report - Environment Canada

View the October 2013 report of Canada's Emission Trends by Environment Canada

Creating Environmentally Friendly Cars

We can keep our world clean by:
  • Selling more fuel-efficient vehicles (Eco-trim: low resistance tires, engine start-stop functionality, etc.)
  • Using cleaner fuels (such as those made from cellulosic biofuels - reducing emissions by 80 % compared to gasoline)
  • Selling electric and hybrid vehicles
  • Replacing older vehicles with newer vehicles
  • Carpooling
  • Finding alternative modes of transportation (Walking, Biking, Skateboarding, Rollerblading, etc.)
Eco-Cars Video Infographic
Additional Research

View our Storify for the information gathered to produce this poster.