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• Level: GCSE
• Subject: Maths
• Word count: 2013

Investigate the factors that affect the bounce of a tennis ball.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Tennis ball investigation

Aim:

Investigate the factors that affect the bounce of a tennis ball.

Key factors (variables):

1. Height of drop
2. Surface of bounce
3. Gravitational pull
4. Room temperature/ball temperature
5. Weight of ball
6. Material of ball
7. Brand of ball
8. Age/wear of ball
9. Size of ball
10. Force of drop/push

How the key factors will affect the bounce:

1. The higher the drop the higher the bounce
2. The harder the surface the higher the bounce
3. The weaker the gravitational force the higher the bounce
4. The warmer the ball the higher the bounce
5. The lighter the ball the higher the bounce
6. Discontinual-unknown
7. Discontinual-unknown
8. The newer the ball the higher the bounce
9. The smaller the ball the higher the bounce
10. The more force put into the drop/push the higher the bounce

I have chosen to investigate 1) Height of drop.

Prediction

I believe that the higher the height the ball is dropped from the higher the bounce, because when the ball is lifted the higher it is lifted the more energy is needed to lift it.  Therefore more energy is converted from chemical potential energy in the body, to kinetic energy when the ball is being lifted, to gravitational potential energy (G.P.E) when the ball has been lifted to the height of the drop.  The more G.P.E the ball has a the start of the drop (point A)

Middle

0.6

0.36

0.38

0.4

0.28

0.26

0.2

0.1

0.12

Problems:

It was difficult to hold the metre sticks steady- this can be resolved by taping them to the wall.

Doing a preliminary practical will help me in my plan because I will know exactly what apparatus I will need, which heights I will be dropping the ball from and how we will measure this.  It will make my plan clearer and easier to follow.

Plan

Apparatus:

1. 2 metre sticks
2. A Tennis ball

The range of measurements was decided during the preliminary practical; 2m-0.2m every 0.2m.

Method:

Starting at 2m the ball will be held with the bottom of it in line with the height mark on the ruler of the height that is being recorded.

The ball will be dropped and a second person will watch it, they will see the height that the ball bounces to.

This measurement will be recorded.

This will be repeated three times at each height.

This will then be repeated for 1.8m, 1.6m, 1.4m, 1.2m, 1m, 0.8m, 0.6m, 0.4m, and 0.2m.

Controlling variables:

We will ensure that this is a fair test by using the same ball and floor for each drop, the same person will drop the ball and the same person will take the measurement for each drop.  The ball will be dropped not pushed.  Repeating each height three times and calculating the average will make the results accurate.

(No safety precautions are needed for this practical.)

Results:

 Drop height (m) Height of bounce (m) Average (m) x i ii iii y 2 1.3 1.2 1.8, repeated 1.4 1.3 1.8 0.95 0.97 0.96 0.96 1.6 0.88 0.9 0.85 0.88 1.4 0.71 0.74 0.79 0.75 1.2 0.7 0.71 0.73 0.71 1 0.61 0.64 0.59 0.61 0.8 0.52 0.49 0.51 0.51 0.6 0.44 0.41 0.43 0.43 0.4 0.26 0.24 0.29 0.26 0.2 0.17 0.18 0.14 0.16

Conclusion

On the efficiency graph the results for 0.4 and 2 are out of the trend, as the results on this graph are based on the measurements taken this means that the 0.4 and 2 results are not as accurate as they should be.  There is no explanation why these particular results are inaccurate other than they were not measured well.

I believe that though the measurements are not accurate the range of my results gives me grounds enough to draw an accurate conclusion because the range is large enough to show any huge errors- such as that of the 0.2m results.

Other useful data on this hypothesis would be results for different makes of ball, or on different surfaces recording the bounce heights for different drop heights.  The trends could be compared to prove that the hypothesis is correct under all circumstances.

In order to gain more accurate data this experiment should be repeated with the use of a digital camera so that the footage could be slowed down and exact bounce heights could be determined.  However this experiment was entirely suitable to prove my prediction, as I have.

Safety:

For safety the person who is undertaking the exercise should be careful that they do not miss their footing, sensible shoes and clothing should be worn and too much exercise should not be done.

Results

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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