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To Find Out How The Launch Height Of a Roller Coaster Affects Its Average Speed.

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Introduction

Physics Coursework 2 To Find Out How The Launch Height Of a Roller Coaster Affects Its Average Speed. Prediction: I predict that the higher the launch height is, the faster its average speed will be. I also predict that I will get these results, I am going to find the values that my results should be. Kinetic energy= 1/2 * mass*speed� ? Speed� = KE 1/2 * mass Gravitational Potential Energy = mass * height * gravitational field strength (9.81). KE=GPE because when the ball starts to move, the potential energy becomes kinetic energy but the amount of energy stays the same. ? Speed� = mass * height * 9.81 1/2 * mass Mass of ball = 0.00352Kg Launch height = 0.1m. Speed� = 0.00352 * 0.1 * 9.81 0.5 * 0.00352 Speed� = 1.962 m/sec Speed = V1.962 m/sec Speed = 1.4 m/sec. Launch height = 0.15m. Speed� = 0.00352 * 0.15 * 9.81 0.5 * 0.00352 Speed� = 2.943 m/sec Speed = V2.943 m/sec Speed = 1.7155 m/sec. ...read more.

Middle

I have shown in the table above that two results were anomalous; this may have been due to the timing being imprecise which is likely, as the distance is not very long and it is hard to start the timer as soon as the ball starts travelling the 2meters and stop it again as soon as it finishes. Also, it may have been because the pipe that the ball travels down before I start timing it was not pointed directly at the finish point, if it was travelling diagonally, it would have taken a longer time to get there. This is why I did three repetitions of each height. However, Graph 2 shows me that the average time recorded for a height of 20cm is shorter than it should be. This may be due to any of the reasons I have said before. I will work out the speed the ball was travelling at from these results. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is also shown on graph 4. This will be because the calculations that I used to work out the expected results did not account for friction that definitely occurred in the actual experiment. Also, the times may have been recorded wrongly during the actual experiment, as the distance (2m) was quite short and it is difficult to record accurately as it passes so quickly. The results support my simple prediction, which states that 'the higher the launch height is, the faster its average speed will be'. (It being the ball). However, the results do not support my quantitative prediction that I would get these speeds: Height (m) Speed (m/sec) 0.1 1.4 0.15 1.7155 0.2 1.981 0.25 2.2147 0.3 2.426 My results showed that in the experiment, the ball travelled much slower, although graph 5 shows that the pattern that the actual results follow is the same as the expected results. This proves that my experiment went well and that the results were accurately measured and recorded. The actual results were slower than expected because friction was not accounted for in the calculations to find the predicted results. ...read more.

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