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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Maths
  • Word count: 1804

Bouncing Ball.

Extracts from this document...


Khushpal Grewal 11K

Preliminary Workimage02.pngimage00.pngimage01.png


The variables for this experiment are: -

  • Size of the ball
  • Mass of the ball
  • Surface Area of the ball
  • Pressure on the ball
  • Height the ball is dropped from
  • Temperature of the room
  • Temperature of the ball
  • Hardness of the ball
  • Material of the ball


I am predicting that the higher that the ball is dropped from, the higher the ball will bounce back upwards, and this will be at a directly proportional rate.

Background Knowledge

The gravitational potential energy that the ball has before it is dropped is transferred into kinetic energy as the ball begins to fall.  When the ball hits the floor, the kinetic energy is transferred into stored potential energy.  The potential energy becomes kinetic energy as the ball starts to bounce back up.

During the bouncing back up stage of the ball, energy is lost through heat and sound.  The less the floor deforms and gives way, the less energy will be wasted as heat and sound because more energy remains stored inside the ball.  Therefore, the harder the floor surface is, the higher the ball is likely to bounce.  This is known as energy degradation.

As the height the ball is dropped from decreases, the less energy there is in the ball so it bounces back less than when it was at a higher height.

...read more.


        We were controlling all of the other variables which include the temperature, surface area, mass, size, hardness, material and pressure on the ball, as well as the room temperature.

Preliminary Results


After conducting my preliminary experiment, I have found out that it is very hard for me to calculate the height the ball bounces back up for heights from 0.1m to 0.4m, so I have decided to not use these measurements for my proper experiment.  I have also decided to take five measurements for each height instead of three to ensure that I have as accurate results as I possibly can.


  • A Ball – mass of 8.095 grams to drop
  • Two 1 Metre Rulers – to measure height dropped from and rebound height
  • Clamp – to stop metre stick from moving
  • Clamp Stand – also to stop metre sticks from moving
  • Boss – again ensuring that metre sticks do not move



  1. Set up the equipment as shown in the diagram above
  2. Begin by placing the ball exactly 2m away from the floor instead of starting from 0.5m as it is easier to work downwards
  3. Make sure that the bottom of the ball is line with the 2m mark
  4. Drop the ball
  5. Watch carefully to see where the ball has rebounded to
  6. Record the result, remembering to see where the bottom of the ball rebounded back to
  7. Repeat the experiment at that height a further four times
...read more.



My Own Knowledge

‘Physics for You’ Textbook

Formulas and explanations from the GCSE Longman Study Guides – Physics

Internet Sites

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Height and Weight of Pupils and other Mayfield High School investigations section.

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