• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What affects the stopping distance of a vehicle?

Extracts from this document...


What affects the stopping distance

of a vehicle?

Aim: - To carry out an experiment to show us what affects the stopping distance of a small wooden trolley when it is pulled back a certain distance by an elastic catapult and has varying brake force.

I could have chosen many different variables from the following- weight of the brakes, weight of the trolley, mass of the trolley, gradient of the slope, air resistance, elasticity of the catapult, the distance the catapult is pulled back. However I decided to vary the weight acting on the brakes – therefore gradually increasing the force and resistance on the brakes and making the trolley stop in shorter distance. The rest of these possible variables will stay constant and unchanged. I decided not to use a variable which would mean we had to record the time because this would be more difficult to record, therefore more likely to be inaccurate. Braking distance is what we are dealing with.


...read more.


1.75             1.71               1.79               1.75

secs             secs                secs               secs

It took an average of 1.75 seconds to travel the distance of the ramp from the catapult to the end.

Example: -  If the trolley I was using weighed 50gms and travels a maximum speed of 5.0 meters a second I would know the kinetic energy the trolley had transformed is 625 Joules

K.E.      =  25 Kg x 5²

= 25 Kg x 25

= 625 Joules

Prediction: - The more pressure being put onto the brake block, the less distance it will take to stop the trolley

Picture: -

Potential energy that is stored in the elastic (when it is pulled back 27cm (7.5 Newtons of force) and when the elastic is released it is changed into kinetic energy which moves the trolley along the ramp. The brake force comes into action when the catapult is no longer touching the trolley and there is no slack in the brake ribbon. The amount of weights acting on the brake block determines how quickly the trolley will stop.

...read more.


s="c5 c2">69















































Conclusion: - The evidence shows that my prediction was right and the weight on the brake block has a considerable effect on how quickly the trolley will stop moving forward; the greater the weight, the shorter the stopping distance.

Evaluation: - The test went well. If I were to do it again I would probably test different sorts of brakes to discover which were the most effective.

We could have done more than 3 tries for the test, which would have made the average more accurate (although it is quite accurate already.) I might redo the 200gram experiment again as this is the most varied of all of the results from the 3 tries. By using brand new equipment I could have made the results more consistent.

...read more.

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

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Mechanics & Radioactivity essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Aim:To find out whether or not the angle of the ramp affects the acceleration ...

    3 star(s)

    Method: To test this experiment; we will need to ensure that our results are accurate and everything is as fair as possible. To ensure fair testing to prevent inaccurate results; the following measures will be taken: The position of the trolley will be checked to make sure it is level

  2. Perform an experiment on friction and the variables of friction using a wooden block, ...

    To obtain my results I will use the following method, the block will be placed on two sheets of paper a measured distance apart with a Newton meter tied to it.

  1. The target of my coursework is to find the amount of g acting on ...

    as carefully as possible, and by finding an average, it should stop the results from becoming too inaccurate. All results shall be recorded to at least three decimal places when possible, to make results more accurate This is an image of the experiment assembled (photo taken by Katie Fitzgerald)

  2. Use of technology in a hospital radiology department. The department of imaging is one ...

    To start the scientific investigation it is important to collect the below equipment. support Stand Aluminium Lead Gamma Alpha Beta Geiger counter Wood Measuring Ruler Source holder Method o To start the investigation, first set up the equipment on the front bench, where every student can see.

  1. The life and work of Isaac Newton Sir Isaac Newton has been considered one ...

    However in newtons publication of the principia he had mentioned in a scholium that there had been correspondence beween the two men. This then brought about a quarrel with accusations of plagerism between England and Germany. To the extent that England stuck to Newtonian terminology and symbolism.

  2. physics investigation- stopping distance

    heavier so I would have expected the stopping distance to be shorter. Test 2 Again I will use ball 1 and ball 2 but this time I will drop them from a height of 40cm up the ramp with gradient 24.4�, my results are: Ball 1(cm)

  1. How aerial travel and Cabin Pressure adversely affects the Human Body

    Due to the effects of hypoxia, alcohol consumption would affect the brain much more than it would on Earth. As the aircraft makes its decent back to Earth, air must be allowed to flow into the middle of the ear to equalize pressure differences.

  2. The force you exert on pulling back a rubber band, which will in turn ...

    * Always place the tub in the same position at the start of each experiment. * Make sure that the newton meter is always hooked at the centre of the rubber band to avoid directional change of the tub after catapulting.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work