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What affects the stopping distance of a toy car

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What affects the stopping distance of a toy car Planning There are many factors, which affect the stopping distance of a car. There are many factors, here are a few of them: * Speed of car * Mass of car * Surface that car is on * Height of ramp * Starting point on ramp * Aerodynamicness of the car The independent variable I have chosen to investigate is the height of the ramp, and I will keep all of the others constant. I will make this a fair test by not changing the speed of the car, i.e. pushing it down the ramp faster, thus taking longer to stop, as it will gain more kinetic energy. Not changing the mass of the car i.e. adding more weights on top of the car, causing it to have more inertia, therefore making it harder to stop, not changing the surface the car is on i.e. concrete to gravel to carpet etc, as some may cause more friction than others, thus causing the car to slow down faster, starting the car from the same place on the ramp, as it may gain more speed will going down the ramp. I must also not change the car I will be using, as some have different axels, which may cause them to slow down faster. I predict that the greater the height of the ramp, the further the stopping distance would be. ...read more.


For example, don't run in the lab, don't play around with equipment, and don't eat or drink in the lab. Final experiment Results Height of ramp /cm Stopping distance/ cm (repeat 1) Repeat 2 Repeat 3 Average (1 d.p) Mass of car/g G.P.E (joules) 5 58 59 60 59 46 3304 10 95 96 100 97 46 5432 15 152 151 147 150 46 8400 20 195 212 216 208 46 11648 25 256 261 260 259 46 14504 30 283 288 282 284 46 15904 35 332 344 348 341 46 19096 40 396 387 386 390 46 21840 Analysis My graph basically shows me that as I increase the height of the ramp, the stopping distance for the car also increases. My graph is a straight line through the origin, telling me that the stopping distance of the car is directly proportional to the height of the ramp. The gradient of the graph seem to be constant throughout, and does not change. I have chosen to work out the gradient of the from the origin, as this is the most precise result possible, as when there is no height, the car doesn't move, therefore there is no stopping distance. The gradient of the graph is vertical/horizontal, and it works out to be y=10x. This shows me that every unit on the x-axis, will be 10 times more on the y-axis, e.g. if the height of the ramp is 10cm, then the stopping distance will be 100cm, therefore telling me that height of the ramp is directly proportional to the stopping distance. ...read more.


I could have improved this by using a new car, therefore you will know that the car is undamaged and untouched, which will mean the axel will be in perfect shape, allowing us to get better, more accurate results. In addition to this, the last few result (40cm), were travelling very far, and in the small room, it was difficult to try and avoid crashes, and just allow the car to travel without being intercepted by something. We could have improved this by doing our experiment in a larger room, which had more space and less people working in it. I feel that I obtained enough results to attain a valid conclusion. I feel I used a large range of results, and 3 repeats all helped make my experiment more accurate and reliable. Altogether, I took 24 results, which was enough to draw a suitable graph. I feel that if I went above 40cm, the results I would have got would have been to large for the circumstances I was in. I could extend this experiment further I could obviously take more results, to find out if the graph will curve off at the end or will continually progress in the manner it is. I could also use different mass cars to see how that will affect the stooping distance. Furthermore, I can change different variables, e.g. speed of car, surface, aerodynamicness of the car, etc. From this I will be able to find out if the trend that I found out in my experiment was not just an isolated event. Andrew Papasavva 11 Dolbe Physics ...read more.

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