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Q & A: Toy Car

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Most recent answer: 03/12/2012
Q:
How do the toy cars that you pull back move forward?
- John Papas
Lake Orion, MI, USA
A:
John,

Those cars work in the same way that wind-up cars do. There is a spring inside that makes both kinds of cars move forward after the spring is wound. The difference is that in the kind of car you are talking about the spring is "wound up" by holding the car down and pulling it backward. There is nothing magic about this, just clever engineering.

MS

(published on 10/22/2007)

Follow-Up #1: Elastic Potential Energy

Q:
Yes but is there a technical name for this type of spring or stored energy before it's released? Thank you very much!
- Philip (age 50)
Australia
A:
Hello Phillip,

I believe that the technical term that you're looking for is "elastic potential energy".

More information about this elastic potential energy can be found at the following webpage:

Maurice

(published on 03/12/2012)

Follow-up on this answer.