MagLev C [Trial]

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smartkid222
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Re: MagLev C [Trial]

Post by smartkid222 » October 8th, 2011, 5:39 pm

Does anyone have any idea of what the test section will be like? Do you think that they be very heavy on equations and calculations like the Geometric Optics section of Optics or perhaps more content based?
I imagine the test to contain both but probably quite a bit more content based than optics. This is because the first few bullets are about magnetism generally speaking which includes mostly calculations (like a normal physics class) but the last few bullets seem more knowledge based (common uses of magnets, for example).
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Re: MagLev C [Trial]

Post by chalker » October 8th, 2011, 6:07 pm

smartkid222 wrote:Does anyone have any idea of what the test section will be like? Do you think that they be very heavy on equations and calculations like the Geometric Optics section of Optics or perhaps more content based?
I imagine the test to contain both but probably quite a bit more content based than optics. This is because the first few bullets are about magnetism generally speaking which includes mostly calculations (like a normal physics class) but the last few bullets seem more knowledge based (common uses of magnets, for example).

I'll give you the same answer here I did in Optics: There is really no way to answer questions like these. There are hundreds of tournaments around the country, all run by different event supervisors. There isn't some secret 'event supervisor manual' that tells them how to make the tests... they see the same rules as you do. Thus it's totally dependent on the specific supervisor you have as to what the test will be like.

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Re: MagLev C [Trial]

Post by twototwenty » October 14th, 2011, 8:58 am

Last year, the entire test was very simple, even at states level. At invitationals, the test that I took could have been easily done with nothing more than common sense based on a basic understanding of magnets. For regionals, it was mostly the same, and the most challenging problem was an interessting logic problem, which required more on-the-spot thinking than actual intensive knowledge of magnets. For all of the tests, the resources my partner and I brought along were not used.

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Re: MagLev C [Trial]

Post by twototwenty » December 2nd, 2011, 6:04 am

Sorry to double post, but I noticed something of a contradiction in the rules:
It first is stated that we should try to make our vehicle's width adjustable, but it later says that we cannot design our vehicle to intentionally touch any part of the track. By being able to have our vehicle's width adjust to properly fit the track, wouldn't it need to touch the sides of the track, intentionally?

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Re: MagLev C [Trial]

Post by chalker » December 2nd, 2011, 9:03 pm

twototwenty wrote:Sorry to double post, but I noticed something of a contradiction in the rules:
It first is stated that we should try to make our vehicle's width adjustable, but it later says that we cannot design our vehicle to intentionally touch any part of the track. By being able to have our vehicle's width adjust to properly fit the track, wouldn't it need to touch the sides of the track, intentionally?
No. That's the whole purpose of the adjustability, to be able to adjust it so it DOESN'T touch the track. There are actually 2 common issues we've seen: 1. The vehicle is slightly too wide, meaning it gets 'jammed' into the track and can't move. 2. The vehicle is way too narrow, resulting in it moving a bit then getting jammed at a diagonal on the track somehow because it twisted itself. You definitely don't want the vehicle touching the track because you lose speed due to friction that way. Another reason for the 2nd rule you pointed out is to ensure people don't design wheeled vehicles.

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Re: MagLev C [Trial]

Post by chalker7 » December 8th, 2011, 8:36 am

chalker wrote:
twototwenty wrote:Sorry to double post, but I noticed something of a contradiction in the rules:
It first is stated that we should try to make our vehicle's width adjustable, but it later says that we cannot design our vehicle to intentionally touch any part of the track. By being able to have our vehicle's width adjust to properly fit the track, wouldn't it need to touch the sides of the track, intentionally?
No. That's the whole purpose of the adjustability, to be able to adjust it so it DOESN'T touch the track. There are actually 2 common issues we've seen: 1. The vehicle is slightly too wide, meaning it gets 'jammed' into the track and can't move. 2. The vehicle is way too narrow, resulting in it moving a bit then getting jammed at a diagonal on the track somehow because it twisted itself. You definitely don't want the vehicle touching the track because you lose speed due to friction that way. Another reason for the 2nd rule you pointed out is to ensure people don't design wheeled vehicles.
I actually agree (pretty strongly) with twototwenty on this issue. If you are adjusting the width of the vehicle to be a close fit to the track, it is impossible to prevent it from touching the sides. All you are doing to reducing the contact angle for when it does graze the edges (and thus preventing jamming). You want the vehicle to start by not touching the sides of the track at all, but it would be impossible to ensure it travels straight without intentionally touching the sides during the run. Otherwise, what is the purpose of the vertical edges?
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Re: MagLev C [Trial]

Post by twototwenty » December 8th, 2011, 12:13 pm

Yeah, that is what I meant... I mean, am I really going to have to say to the event supervisor that I meant to adjust it to be just smaller than the width of the track, and that if it touched the track, it was an accident? It doesn't really make sense...

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Re: MagLev C [Trial]

Post by sciolycoach » December 8th, 2011, 12:26 pm

I'd like to chime in here if I can as well. In regards to Chalker7, the purpose of the vertical edges are to keep the car traveling down the track and I agree, contact with the vertical edges/sides is unavoidable. The intent of the rule (I think, but I could be wrong on this) is to prevent cars that have wheels on their sides above their vehicle surface that are rotating about a vertical axis and causing the car to "roll" down the track along the two vertical edges. I believe that the rule (3.l) states that the car should not be designed to intentionally physically contact any part of the track, and while this is commonly thought to prevent wheeled vehicles on the surface (floor) of the track, it is also worded this way to prevent the type of wheeled, but still magnetically levitated, vehicle I described above. Now, I agree with your interpretation about the car's contact with the vertical edges being impossible to prevent, but I think (and as many before me have stated, this is NOT the place for official clarifications and I am simply stating my personal opinion, which may or may not be wrong) the intent of the rule is to prevent the types of wheeled vehicles I described above. Now, could it be worded better, possibly, but I hope this helps.

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Re: MagLev C [Trial]

Post by chalker » December 8th, 2011, 5:38 pm

sci_oly_coach wrote: Now, could it be worded better, possibly, but I hope this helps.

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Andy is spot on with this (as he should be since he helped revise the rules). That said, we are always looking for suggestions on how to better word things for next year. Now that the intent of the rules is clear, anyone have any ideas on updated wording?

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Re: MagLev C [Trial]

Post by Littleboy » December 8th, 2011, 7:31 pm

Maybe something about it having to be made adjustable to best fit the track. And have a different rule stating that wheels or something similar is not permitted.

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