• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What affects the speed of a moving vehicle?

Extracts from this document...


What affects the speed of a moving vehicle?



The aim of our investigation was to find out what variables affect the speed of a moving vehicle. We chose to investigate the effect of gradient change on a moving vehicle.


The independent variable in our experiment is the gradient of the ramp.

The dependant variable is the speed of the trolley.




  1. First we will set up the equipment carefully and safely.
  2. Then we let go of the trolley at the top of the ramp, being sure not to push the ramp (or it would not produce a fair test).
  3. Next we will record the speed taken by the computer into our table of results (see below).
  4. We will repeat the experiment four times at each gradient to gain a good range of accurate and reliable readings.
  5. We will test the trolley at seven different gradients to get adequate results.

We decided that in our experiment we would measure the speed of the trolley in m/s.

...read more.








We found that the trolley only began to move after a minimum of five books had been placed under the ramp.

        We also used the preliminary experiment to find out what intervals to use, we decided to use intervals of 5 books each time as this would produce more dramatic results

...read more.


recorded by a computer via light gates, we could not have timed the trolley so accurately using stop clocks or other devices.

        Our results cover a wide range which supports our conclusion and allows us to see the shape of the graph easily. Using the graph we could predict other values for new gradients.


Possible causes of error could include

  1. The force on the trolley being pushed down the ramp
  2. Wind in the form of a light breeze assisting the trolley along the ramp

Improvements to make the method more reliable could include using the same person each time to let go of the trolley to ensure that the same force was exerted on the trolley each go

Further work to extend the investigation could include experimenting with the mass of the trolley by using weights to see how they affect the trolley, or measuring the acceleration of a trolley with a changing gradient (rather than measuring the speed).

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Gradient Function section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Gradient Function essays

  1. Curves and Gradients Investigation

    y = x³ Gradient = (x + h)³ - x³ (x + h) - x = (x + h)(x² + 2xh + h²) - x³ (expand brackets) h = (x³ + 2x²h + xh² + hx² + 2xh² + h³)

  2. The Gradient Function

    If you look closely at this graph, and the graph of y=x3, you can see that the curve runs through x=1, y=2, rather than x=1, y=1. This is because the equation is y=2x3. This means that in the final equation to work out the gradient, we simply have to multiply the answer we discover by two otherwise (obviously)

  1. I have been given the equation y = axn to investigate the gradient function ...

    there is confirmed by using the general result The process of finding a general expression for the gradient of a curve at any point is called differentiation. The general gradient expression for a curve y=f(x) is itself a function so it is called the gradient function.For the curve y=x� as

  2. I am going to investigate the gradients of different curves and try to work ...

    y = x2 + 1 I am investigating the changes in gradient for the curve y = x2 + 1. To plot the curve, I will use the table of values given below. x 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 y 0 2 5 10 17 26 37 I

  1. The Gradient Function Investigation

    I can see from these results that in all three cases, the X co-efficient of the gradient function (e.g. 9x�) is the same as the X co-efficient of the graph equation (e.g. 3x�) multiplied by the power of X of the graph equation (e.g.

  2. Gradient Function

    2.8 28.52 3.48 0.2 17.4 2.9 30.23 1.77 0.1 17.7 2.99 31.8203 0.1797 0.01 17.97 2.999 31.982 0.017997 0.001 17.997 3 32 3.001 32.018 -0.018003 -0.001 18.003 3.01 32.1803 -0.1803 -0.01 18.03 3.1 33.83 -1.83 -0.1 18.3 3.2 35.72 -3.72 -0.2 18.6 3.3 37.67 -5.67 -0.3 18.9 3.4 39.68 -7.68

  1. The Gradient Function

    = 0 -1- (-1) Conclusion: The table below shows the gradients of all the graphs where n = 0 Equation Gradient Y =-2x0 0 Y =4x0 0 Y =-0.250 0 From the above table we can see that the gradient for all the graphs is 0.

  2. Investigate gradients of functions by considering tangents and also by considering chords of the ...

    The results are shown below: x g (The Gradient) Tangent Method Increment Method 1 2 2.01 2 4 4.01 3 6 6.01 4 8 8.01 First, I found that the gradients increase as the co-ordinates increase. I not only found this by looking at the table of the results, but

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work