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Investigate how the height of drop affects the height of bounce.

Extracts from this document...



AIM: -

  • I am going to investigate how the height of drop affects the height of bounce.


  • At rest the when the ball is above the surface it has Gravitational Potential Energy. When the ball is dropped the Gravitational Potential Energy is converted to Kinetic Energy. When the ball bounces back the kinetic energy changes back to Gravitational Potential Energy.
  • The ball does not return to it’s original height because some of the kinetic energy is lost and converted to other form of energies such as sound energy, elastic potential energy, thermal energy and friction. At the bottom, just before the bounce, this energy is now all in the form of kinetic energy. After the bounce, the ball and the ground or floor have absorbed some of that energy and have become warmer and have made a noise. When the ball hits the floor it exerts a force on the floor and the floor exerts a force on the ball. This force compresses the ball. But because the material the ball is made of is not perfectly elastic, internal friction converts some of the energy into thermal energy. The elastic potential energy stored in the ball when it has lost all its kinetic energy is converted back into kinetic and gravitational potential energy. The thermal energy, however, is not converted back.
  • The factors that effect the height of the bounce are: -
  1. Type of ball
  2. Surface the ball bounces off
  3. Height of drop
  4. Mass of ball
  5. Pressure inside the ball


  • According to the chosen factor the higher the height at which the ball is dropped from, the higher it will bounce back. This is because as the ball travels down, it has more gravitational potential energy and more time to gather speed if dropped from a higher height due to the acceleration of gravity and this will increase the height at which the ball bounces back up as the ball will bounce up with a greater force.
  • The order will consist of the fact that the lower the height of drop the lower will be the bounce and the higher the height of drop is the higher will be the bounce of the ball.
  • The ball will bounce higher if it is dropped from a higher height as it will have more gravitational potential energy because there will be more acceleration of gravity, as compared to the ball which will be dropped from a lower height which will have less energy and will bounce less.
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simply hold the ball at whichever height you wish to test it at and then let go of the ball, applying no force and letting gravity pull the ball down to the hard surface.The heights from where I will drop the ball will be between 0cm to 100cm. I will start dropping the ball from 10cm then 20cm and will keep on increasing the length by 10cm up to 100cm.I will ensure that I get the best possible results by dropping the ball from the same height at least thrice and take the average of my results.

Results: -

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  • I did not make any changes to my original plan as I was getting the results I was expecting.
  • The results I got were pretty good as the height of bounces from all the three tries for one height of drop were similar. To plot the graph I took the average of the three points. The graph too showed that the results were quite good as the points of height of bounce against average height of drop were closer to the line of best fit.
  • The procedure I used was simple and there was not any problem apart from one, which was to measure the height of bounce with the naked eye so the results could have been better.
  • The investigation could be improved if the ball was dropped from the same height more than three times, than the average would be better. We could also improve the results if we have something better and more accurate to measure the height of bounce such as a                       .

Made by

Muhammad Ahsan

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