• entries
13
2
• views
4,083

# The Physics of Wagon Pulling

661 views

My neice, Emma, is only a couple months old, but she already has a lot of stuff. Clothes, toys, books, even a little blue wagon for when she gets older.

Probably in five plus years she'll want to drag that thing around all summer. But I'm not so sure how easy it would be for her to do that. How much work would she have to put into that action?

Well to figure out work, you can do W=Fd, W=mgd, or W=Fcos(-)d. I'd probably use W=mgd so I don't have to measure angles or anything. Let's say the wagon is 10 kg, and Emma pulls it 10 meters. Obviously by the time she is 5, gravity won't have changed so that's 9.81 m/s^2. When you plug in to the equation, you get W=(10 kg)(9.81m/s^2)(10 m). You'll end up with 981 J. That seems like a lot of work for a little girl.

## 1 Comment

You've got the right idea, but thankfully with a wagon, you don't have to lift niece Emma.  Because it's on wheels, instead what you apply is a force on the handle bar at some angle theta, so the work done will be F*d*cos(theta).  More info here: http://www.aplusphysics.com/courses/honors/WEP/work.html

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

Only 75 emoji are allowed.