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'How does the height a ball is dropped from effect the rebound height?'

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Introduction

Sophie Jones 11X3

11 Picasso

Physics coursework

'How does the height a ball is dropped from effect the rebound height?'

Aim:

My aim is to investigate the effect of dropping height of a tennis ball to the bouncing (rebound) height when, the ball is dropped on a smooth surface.

Prediction:

I predict that the rebound height will be higher if the dropping height is higher, provided the ball will drop on the same surface.

This is simply to say that gravitational potential energy of the tennis ball is changed to kinetic energy of the tennis ball. As the ball is falling it gains kinetic energy, the kinetic energy is maximum when the tennis ball is about to hit the surface. After hitting the surface, the kinetic energy of the tennis ball is changing to gravitational potential energy of the tennis ball. The bouncing height will not be equal to the dropping height because some of the kinetic energy is lost through heat and sound energy to the surrounding. If the dropping height is higher, the bouncing height will be higher as well.  I also predict that dropping height will be proportional to the bouncing height.

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Middle

9. Repeat 3 to 8 from different dropping heights.

10. Use six different dropping heights.

Fair test:

  • To make this test fair I will make sure that I use the same part of the ball to measure the height from (the top).
  • Make sure that it bounces on the same surface each time.
  • Double check rulers are straight and touch the floor.
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Conclusion

The results I have recorded were accurate, although I had one odd result. This may be due to taking the wrong readings of the bouncing heights.  

To make my experiment more accurate, I could have used a sensor to measure the bouncing height of the tennis ball and repeat the experiment three times and found an average. I don’t think I could really improve on the way (the plan or method) the experiment was performed because my results were quite accurate. I also found that the experiment was quite easy to set up as it was simple and not complicated.

Further experiments I could do to see the effect of bouncing height of a tennis ball would be to whether the following factors would make a difference in the bouncing height.

The surface on which the ball is dropped: I think the bouncing height would increase if the tennis ball is dropped on a hard surface.

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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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