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To see if the initial height of a squash ball will affect its bounce height when dropped.

Extracts from this document...


Patrick Laverty 11SPO



Aim: To see if the initial height of a squash ball will affect its bounce height when dropped.

Prediction: I think that the ball will bounce higher if it is dropped from a higher altitude.  I think this will be correct because the ball will have more potential energy as it increases in height.

Background: I have studied energy recently and know that when something is taken to a high level, it will gain more potential energy.  This investigation will help to prove this by showing how potential energy is transformed into kinetic energy when an object is allowed to drop to the ground.

Equipment: For this investigation, I will need:

  • A squash ball
  • A ruler
  • A beaker
  • A kettle
  • A clamp stand and clamp
  • Water
  • Thermometer

Method: I will carry out this experiment in several stages to keep everything simple and to stop me from becoming lost and confused half way through and needing to start again.

Step 1:  Boil a kettle of water and pour 200ml of boiling water into a beaker and, using cold water, change the temperature to 45°c.  Place squash ball in beaker and leave to warm up for 5 minutes.

Step 2:

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2nd Result (cm)

3rd Result (cm)

Average (cm)




































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To improve my experiment, I could have used a motion sensor to accurately record the height of the drop and also the height of the bounce.  I could also have used something with which I could drop the ball from a fixed height instead of my hand which wouldn’t have been able to remain still at a certain height without moving even a little bit.

My results were fairly accurate but as I have already stated, they cannot be 100% accurate by using only my own eyes.  None of my results appear to have been odd except for a few of the averages which were higher than the succeeding average (eg. when the average goes from 26.5 to 24.4 then to 29.8).  This may have been due to the temperature of the ball dropping.

To extend my research into this investigation, I could use larger objects such as a tennis ball dropped from a desk, a football dropped from a window or even a wrecking ball dropped from a building (although the latter would be a bit strenuous to repeat so many times).  I could also try dropping balls from different temperatures, such as colder or warmer to see if the bounce will increase at different temperatures.

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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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