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Physics Coursework: Bouncing Balls.

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Physics Coursework: Bouncing Balls Introduction In this investigation I am going investigate the factors which affect a bouncing ball and the relationship between the height the ball was dropped from and the height reached on the rebound. The height of the rebound will be less than the height the ball is dropped from due to the gravitational potential energy being converted into thermal energy. Factors which will affect the bounce of a ball: - Height dropped from - Mass of ball - ' Liveliness' of ball - Gravitational field strength (g) - Floor hardness Prediction I predict that the ball will bounce to a height less than its original height due to gravitational potential energy being converted into thermal energy. The ball gains gravitational potential energy when it is lifted off the floor, some off this energy is converted into heat energy due to friction and compression/expansion. I predict that if I increase the value of the input variable (i.e. the height the ball is dropped from) ...read more.


I will then adjust the height of the stand to the desired height measuring from the bottom of the ball to the floor. The clamp will need to be situated next to a wall so that the height of the rebound can be marked on the wall and then measured with a meter stick. When the ball is at the correct height, the clamp is loosened until the ball falls. The above information needs to be recorded. I will repeat the experiment at heights of 1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 1.8 and 2 m. I will repeat the entire experiment four times so that I can get a more accurate set of results. Equipment: - A bouncy rubber ball - 2 meter rules - A clamp and stand - A marker pen Results Height of Drop (m) Height of Bounce (cm) Average Height of Bounce (cm) 1 2 3 4 1.0 61 57 60 58 59 1.2 70 73 71 74 72 1.4 83 85 89 77 83.5 1.6 90 96 95 92 93.25 1.8 105 107 103 110 106.25 2.0 111 110 112 115 112 ...read more.


This meant we had to make the decision in a split second. This therefore may have caused our results to be slightly inaccurate. Occasionally the ball would scrape against the wall causing extra friction which would affect the results, so therefore I repeated the drop so that it was fair. The ideal way to measure these results would be to film each drop and play back the bounce in slow motion and pause it at the frame where the ball reaches its highest point. Due to time allocations and school facilities this would not be possible. The ball should be as round as possible so that any small bumps do not affect the bounce. The only possible anomaly was the 77 and 89 cm bounces for the 1.4 m drop. These caused the error bars to be slightly bigger than on the other results. This may be down to the difficulty of observing the bounce height or a slight change in drop height. Andrew Webster 11T ...read more.

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