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

A-Level Physics Investigation:The Ski Jumper

Extracts from this document...


A-Level Physics Investigation: The Ski Jumper Aim To find out how the starting position of a ski jumper affects the horizontal distance travelled in the jump. We will model the jumper and the ski slope as a ball bearing and a curtain rail. We will not take air resistance, friction and other various type of energy lost into account. However in practical we have to keep in mind that they do exist and causes variation in our results. Factors which affects the range: Changing the vertical height of drop from the slope ('h') would vary the range. This is because according to the law of conservation of energy, it cannot be made or destroyed but transferred. To apply this law into this practical, we can say all of the GPE (Gravitational Potential Energy) is converted into KE (Kinetic Energy) assuming no energy is wasted. As a result, GPE is equal to KE. Hence if mass (kg) and acceleration (ms-2) due to gravity remains constant, varying the height (metres) would directly affect the velocity (ms-1). mgh = 1/2 mv2 So we are saying GPE lost causes a gain in KE. Ultimately, the greater the height dropped the greater the velocity it has when leaving the ramp and consequently greater the range. With this theory, we can confidently say that changing the gradient would not make a difference to the range if the height remains constant. ...read more.


First we have to set-up the apparatus as above. We will need to measure the height of the table from the ground and the height of the slope from the table. By adding the height of the slope from the table to the height of the table from the floor, we could find out the overall drop height mentioned earlier on. The value I obtained for the height of the table was 0.93m from our preliminary test. 2. After getting the apparatus ready, we will start the experiment right away. We will be dropping various heights on the slope, from 5cm to 40cm with 5cm intervals. To do this, we hold the ball according to the height on the rail and release it. It will then travel down and into the sand tray leaving a mark similar to half a sphere. I will be repeating each drop three times and then taking an average to ensure accuracy. 3. We will measure from the centre of the mark to the end of the sand tray closer to the edge of the table. By adding this value we obtain with 15cm, we will acquire the final value of the range. Experimental errors and Uncertainties There are superficial errors with the ruler I will be using. The edge of the ruler I will be using is not 0cm. The 0cm indictor is actually 0.3 cm from the edge. ...read more.


To resolve this problem, I have to check whether the sand tray is back into its position after impact. As a result, I decide to use carbon paper instead next time when recording the range. Also, when dropping the ball, it will not have been dropped from the exact point every time, as this is virtually impossible. To overcome this problem, some kind of release mechanism would ensure that the ball is dropped from the same point on the slope every time. All of these have virtually no effect on our result or conclusion at all. Instead there is something we could alter that would have assisted us in concluding the formula. For example, a working condition where air resistance is zero. In other words, working in a vacuum environment. As a result, the condition we are working in is more similar to the assumptions we have made using the formula. With common sense, we can expect this condition would yield a greater range. With no air resistance, I can say that our actual range would be greater because the velocity leaving the ramp is getting closer to the calculated value using the idea that potential gravitation energy lost is equal to the kinetic energy gain. Basically, more of the GPE is converted into kinetic energy. As a result when plotting graph2 again with the new conditions, we would expect a steeper gradient or a gradient that is nearly the same as the one we have calculated. Ultimately, it can give us stronger evidence that the formula is spot on, even though the degree accuracy we currently have is sufficient. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Forces and Motion 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 Forces and Motion essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Investigating factors that affect the bounce height of a squash ball

    5 star(s)

    Ideally, I would be able to film the bouncing of the ball in order to take still images and therefore accurately see the height of the ball at the top of its bounce. Unfortunately, I have not got this equipment available, so I will have to try to repeat the

  2. The experiment consisted of recording the results of a small toy car being allowed ...

    We can see that when the car lands, the ticker tape will be stretched the shortest distance while the car will have taken a much longer route on the parabola. This means we can actually find when the car should hit the floor, and we do not need to make any assumptions about missed results.

  1. Squash Ball and Temperature Investigation

    would be less significant compared to a range of 1 or 2 at 40cm (2.5-5% error). Again this ensures that the results are more accurate and of a sensible nature. Method 1. To see the difference in how high balls bounce according to the material they are made of, try

  2. This investigation is associated with the bounce of a squash ball. I will be ...

    The testing procedure itself states somewhat confusingly that: "For the purposes of inspection, balls manufactured from the same mix shall be arranged in batches of 3000 numbers or part thereof manufactured in one shift in a day." Fifteen balls are then chosen at random from each batch and divided into three groups of five balls.

  1. Physics - how the launch height affects the horizontal distance a ski jumper travels ...

    During our preliminary tests we used two different types of sand we used wet sand and dry sand. We decided to use the wet sand in our finally test because the ball made a clearer crater in the wet sand than it did in the dry sand, so we could make more precise measurements of distance.

  2. Investigating the Physics of Bunjee Jumping

    From experiment 1 and 2: From experiment 1, it was found that the minimum extension of a mass of 300g was 8.4cm. To find out the maximum extension of the elastic cord for the mass of 300g, the mass was dropped from a height.

  1. Investigating the amazingness of theBouncing Ball!

    change of gravitational potential energy that takes place as the body moves. The principle of conservation of mechanical energy can be stated as: In a system in which the only forces acting are associated with potential energy (eg. Gravitational and elastic forces)

  2. Factors Affecting the Speed of a Car after Freewheeling down a Slope

    2. Length of the runway- the longer the runway, the more will be the acceleration of the trolley as it will have a greater time to travel on a slope before reaching the flat ramp when it will travel at a constant velocity in a straight line except when air resistance and friction become effective.

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