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# Physics Coursework - Spring Investifation

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Physics Coursework

Energy Stored in a Spring

Aim:- To investigate how the velocity of a trolley when different spring compressions are used.

For this piece of coursework I am going to investigate how the velocity of the trolley over a set distance, is proportional to the compression of the spring.

I plan to use two different methods of carrying out the investigation. These methods are :-

A Light Gate : - The trolley had a piece of card attached to it, on the top.the spring of the trolley was then compressed and then released, as irt passes through the light gate. The light gate is a piece of equipment which is connected to a computer, and as the trolley passes through the light gate, a light beam is broken, and the time it has taken for the length of card to pass through is then recorded.

Computer Simulation : - this is a computer program which allows you to do exactly the same experiment as done in the light gate method.. however, it is a faster and much easier way to collect the data, and the results are a lot clearer. You can alter the length of the card, the compression of the spring and the distance that the trolley travels.

Middle

0.159

0.151

0.157

0.362

Light Gate

 Compression(m) 1st Test Time(s) 2nd Test Time(s) 3rd Test Time(s) Average Time(s) 0.02 0.392 0.419 0.395 0.402 0.04 0.153 0.156 0.146 0.152 0.06 0.103 0.095 0.106 0.101 0.08 0.077 0.077 0.069 0.074

Average Speeds

Computer Simulation

Length of card = 0.1m

 Compression(m) Average Time(s) Velocity (0.1/time) 0.02 2.545 0.0392927 0.04 1.281 0.078064 0.06 0.848 0.1179245 0.08 0.629 0.1589825 0.1 0.502 0.1992031 0.12 0.424 0.235849 0.14 0.362 0.276243

Light Gate

Length of card = 0.1m

 Compression(m) Average Time(s) Velocity (0.1/time) 0.02 0.402 0.2487562 0.04 0.152 0.6578947 0.06 0.101 0.990099 0.08 0.074 1.3513513

Kinetic Energy for Computer Simulation

 Compression(m) Average Time(s) Velocity (0.

Conclusion

Evaluation

There are factors in my experiment that will have caused errors. For example, I noticed that the wheels of the trolley used in the light gate experiment skidded. This meant that some of the energy stored in the spring was wasted as the wheels went round but the trolley did not move. This is one problem I encountered whilst doing the experiment, however it would be difficult to avoid if I did the experiment again.

There is also chance of the temperature effecting the spring and trolley in the light gate test. This is because the experiment took place over two lessons. However, as I explained in my analysing of results, friction will have been the main problem encountered.

If I were to do the experiment again I would try to take the friction into account, and maybe somehow take the amount of time wasted on this off of the final results for the light gate. This would give me a more even and fairer set of results.

Overall I feel that the experiment was a success as my prediction was proved correct and backed up by my results.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Waves & Cosmology section.

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