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physics investigation- stopping distance

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Thomas Stirling 13jn

Candidate number: 2671

Physics Investigation

Introduction

In my investigation I intend to gather enough evidence and explanation to see if and how the mass of a ball will affect its stopping distance.

I will carry out a series of tests starting with changing the mass of the ball then changing height which it’s dropped from.

Predictions

I predict that the mass of a ball will most defiantly affect the distance it takes to stop because as the mass increases, the amount of friction with the surface will increase which will slow down the ball sooner.

I believe if the mass of the ball is doubled the friction with the surface it’s on will double and therefore half the distance taken to stop.

Equipment

For my investigation the equipment I will require is:

  • A ramp and stand ( 1 metre long)
  • Carpet (2 by 0.5 metres)
  • 2 balls of different masses but same size  ( ball 1, 2.8g and ball 2, 44.9g)
  • 2 metre rules

My setup

My setup is pretty simple I will use a ramp with a rule along it and some carpet for the balls to roll along I will then use another rule to measure the distance taken to stop.

image00.png

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Middle

Car no added mass (cm)

Car plus 17.4g (cm)

Car plus 100g (cm)

1

187

172

269

2

190

189

259

3

189

184

265

4

190

178

274

5

189

181

264

Average

189

180.8

266.2

Analysis

From these results it is clear that my prediction is only partially correct as the mass of an object does affect its stopping distance but the relationship is not as linearly as I expected, as the mass is doubled the stopping distance is not halved this is due to the momentum that the object gains, when more mass is added the object gains more momentum proven with the momentum formulae momentum = mass * velocity, so the object will travel feather with more mass, this will explain why when the mass of my car had an extra 100g it travelled a further 77.2 cm. although its not that simple because we have to take into account friction, as the mass increases the gravitational pull of the earth will increase which in turn increases the amount of friction between the car wheels and the surface they roll on and a greater friction will slow down the car and reduce its stopping distance, this will explain why when I added only 17.4g the stopping distance was less .

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Conclusion

Conclusion

In my experiment I aimed to find out whether or not the mass of a ball affects its stopping distance and if so how does it. I started out thinking I knew what was going to happened and that friction was the only point to consider, after my second test I knew something wasn’t right and decided to use the toy car, using the toy car was a massive benefit as I could change the mass so much easier and all other variables where kept the same (e.g. coefficient of friction). It was my first set of results with the toy car when I realised I had to take into account momentum this then explained everything about my previous results and everything fell into place. Feathering my investigation out of pure interest I decided to work out the balancing mass of friction and momentum but due to time restrictions I am only able to make an estimate of 42g due to extrapolating my graph. I enjoyed my physics investigation and wish I had more time to further it more.

Newbold community school

Centre number: 23148

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