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Physics competition... I need ideas

Registered User Posts: 595 Member
Hey guys... we have a provincial physics competition coming up and I was wondering if you have some ideas for the 2 projects this year.

#1. Hydromatic Lifter

The lifter should be able to do the most work possible (lifting a mass) using
only the potential energy released by 2 litres of water falling in a waterfall of a maximum height of 0.75 meter. The lifter should be infinitely reusable without maintenance.

Apparatus:
1. The apparatus for this event consists of three parts, all supplied by the contestants: the waterfall, the lifter and the mass.
2. The waterfall consists of a source and a catchbasin.
3. The top of the water level in the source at the start of the trial must be no more than .75 meter above the lowest point of the catch-basin.
4. The waterfall must be designed to catch all of the water in the catch-basin. It must also be designed so that all of the water collected in the catch-basin can be easily poured by the contestants into a bucket.
5. The lifter must be separate and independent of the waterfall. In particular it can hold no water either at the beginning or end of the trial; i.e. it cannot be part of either the source or the catch-basin.
6. The mass must be a single solid and rigid object of dimensions less than 20 by 20 by 20 cm. It must be connected to the lifter by thin string, wire, fishing line or other essentially massless material.
7. The apparatus must be designed so that at the end of the trial, the mass is held into its final elevated position for measurement by the judges.
8. The entire apparatus must fit in a 1 by 1 by 1 m box at all times.
9. The apparatus must be constructed entirely by the contestants themselves and should not consist mainly or exclusively of any sort of pre-purchased device.

#2. Rescue Submarine

Deploy a rescue submarine to dive, pickup survivors, and bring them to the surface. Your submarine must bring as much payload as possible off the sea floor and float it to the surface.

The Test Basin
1. The submarines will be tested in a sea of depth 40 cm.
2. The sea has a diameter of at least 25 cm and it will be filled with room temperature UBC water. The sea is surrounded by nonmetallic and nonmagnetic land (the container).
3. The survivors consist of 200 g of 2 1/4 inch bright common nails (type 7d) located in a circular area of roughly diameter 15 cm.

The Apparatus
1. The apparatus consists of two parts: the submarine and the ballast. The apparatus must be entirely self contained, with no external connections or power source. The submarine will retrieve and return passengers to the surface. The ballast can be left on the bottom. The apparatus design must have a submarine but is not required to have ballast.
2. If used, ballast must consist of no more than 2 solid pieces of insoluable material or water.
3. The submarine must fit into a sphere of 15 cm diameter at all times during the trial. Ballast must fit into the submarine until it is within a distance of 10 cm from the sea bottom. When ballast is dropped it must competely separate instantaneously.
4. This is an environmentally friendly submarine. The operation of the apparatus must not contaminate or evaporate the sea or damage the land (the container) or survivors. In particular, there shall be no dissolving or decomposing parts to the submarine or ballast.
5. Any dropped ballast must be easily recoverable.
6. The device must be constructed entirely by the contestants themselves and should not consist mainly or exclusively of any sort of pre-purchased device.

Testing
1. Teams will have 5 minutes to deploy and test their submarines.
2. No external human intervention is allowed after the start of the trial.
3. The apparatus must freely dive to the bottom of the sea, retrieve as many survivors as possible, and return to the surface, all without touching land at any time (i.e. the sides of the container). Touching the sea floor (ie. the bottom of the container) during the operation is allowed.
4. At the end of the trial, the submarine must breach the surface and remain on the surface with some part of its structure above the surface for 30 seconds in order to score.

So... any ideas? The submarine one definitely sounds harder. Both would be fun to build though...hehe. If you have any ideas please do tell me!
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