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The aim of my experiment is to investigate the affects of the drop height on the efficiency of a bouncing ball.

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Introduction

Aim: The aim of my experiment is to investigate the affects of the drop height on the efficiency of a bouncing ball. Factors: Material (Elasticity): The material that the ball is made of can alter the efficiency, because different materials have different elastic strengths. This means that they will react differently when they bounce. If the ball is made of a material that is very hard, then it will bounce more efficiently, than a ball made of a softer material. This is because a ball made of a softer material will change shape when it hits the floor. A harder ball will not do this, but it will lose more of its kinetic energy, as sound. A different ball will also have a different mass. A ball with a larger mass will have more momentum when it hits the earth after it is dropped, and a larger force stopping it from bouncing back up again. To make sure that its fair for each drop I will use the same ball each the time. Surface: If the ball is bouncing a hard surface, then it should be more efficient than if it was bouncing on a softer surface. ...read more.

Middle

Make sure you wear goggles and body amour in case an armed robber invades the classroom and decides to shoot you for fun, or a little fairy man jumps on your back and tries to stab you with a 4 inch poison dagger! Prediction: In this experiment, the ball will bounce higher, as the drop height increases. This is because the ball has gained more gravitational potential energy, to be transferred into kinetic energy, but the ball will lose more energy when it bounces, because there is more of a force pulling it downwards, and forcing it to change shape. As it is stated in the laws of conservation of energy, the kinetic energy is not lost, but transferred into less useful forms of energy. As the drop height is doubled, the bounce height will also double, but it will become less efficient. Preliminary Work: For my preliminary work, I tried out the experiment that I was going to do to investigate the effects of the drop height on the efficiency of a bouncing ball. I only repeated the results twice, which I will increase on my true experiment to three times. This is because, I felt that the results could be more accurate. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is because the ball changes shape, and 'uses' some of the energy. Because some of the energy is being lost, it means that the transfer of energy is less efficient, so the bouncing of the ball is less efficient. This means that my prediction was correct. The graph also shows that the balls efficiency changes, and it becomes less efficient. Evaluation I think that this experiment went very well. The method worked well, and the results were better than expected. To improve the accuracy of the recordings, the bounce could be recorded on a video recorder, so that it could be played back in slow motion, and paused if necessary, so that you can see exactly how high the ball bounced. There were only a few anomalous results, which can be seen on my graph. I don't think that I would benefit from taking any more results, if I were to do this experiment again. I think that it worked well, and the method wouldn't need changing. However, to make it easier to record the results, I would set up a video recorder, as shown in the diagram below. This should make sure that the results are accurate, as it could be played back as many times as possible, to reduce the possibility of human error. This could account for some of the anomalous results (shown on the graph). Paul Jefferyes 28/04/07 1/7 ...read more.

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