• 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. The Gradient Function

    1.5 2.004 1.497006 -0.74850299 2 1.5 2.003 1.497753 -0.74887668 2 1.5 2.002 1.498501 -0.74925075 2 1.5 2.001 1.49925 -0.74962519 (X1, Y1) = 2, 1.5 (X2, Y2) = 2.001, (3/X2) (X2, Y2) = (2.001, 1.49925) Gradient = Y2-Y1/X2-X1 = -1.49925-1.5/2.001-2 = -0.74963 The table below shows the increment method performed at the point (-2, -1.5)

  2. The Gradient Function

    I intend to work out the gradient of a graph of y=x2 using these two variables. G = (x+f)2 - x2 (x+f) - x G = x2 + 2xf + f2 -x2 x + f - x G = 2xf + f2 f f G = 2x + f 2x

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

    x g (The Gradient) Tangent Method Increment Method 1 3 3.0301 2 10.56 12.0601 3 28.42 27.0901 4 not shown on graph 48.1202 3 My formula g=2x does not work for this equation. However, I found another formula for this equation.

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

    Thus I can conclude from this table that the gradient function for the curve = 6x After looking at the tables for the various values of "a" and how they are related to the gradient function I have come to the conclusion that the gradient function for the general equation

  1. In this piece of coursework I will investigate the gradient function.

    Because the graph is a much larger scale, the line should almost follow the path of the curve. The more you zoom in, the more accurate the gradient will be. The next graph I will draw is y=2x�. See graph D (see calculations, page C).

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

    finish point 5 4 3 2 1.5 6 Gradient of chord 6 5 4 3 2.5 7 Test: 36 - 1 = 35 = 7 This proves my prediction. 6 - 1 5 From this result and the table, I have noticed that as the finish point of the chord

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