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An investigation to find how temperature affects the bounciness of a squash ball.

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Introduction

Bouncing Squash Ball

An investigation to find how temperature affects the bounciness of a squash ball.

The Problem

“It is well known amongst squash players that the ball becomes more bouncy when it has been struck against the wall many times. There are a number of possible reasons for this. It might be that hitting the ball against the wall flexes the rubber and alters it in some way to make it more elastic but the most probable reason is that the violence of the collision heats up the ball and it is the change in temperature, which is the most important factor in determining how bouncy the ball is.

Your task is to investigate how temperature of a squash ball affects its bounciness.”

Aim

We have been asked to investigate what factors could affect the bounciness of the squash ball. This could be due to a number of factors, which are stated below. We will have to design an experiment to test one of these factors (temperature of the squash ball) and see how it affects the bounciness of the squash ball. We will use water baths to heat the squash balls to the desired temperature. We will then drop the squash ball from a fixed height and measure the maximum height at which it reaches when it bounces. We will then have to analyse our results and draw conclusions from them.

The Variables

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Middle

100

30

80

28

60

21

40

16

From these results I can see that the highest bounce occurs when the squash ball is released from the greatest height. When it is released from the maximum of 100cm it only bounces 30cm into the air. Therefore I have decided to release the ball from 100cm ,as when the ball is cooled I expect that the squash ball will not bounce as high. Therefore I want to drop the ball from the highest height possible to ensure that I will get a good measurement if I lower the temperature.

Next I experimented with using different pressures of air within the squash ball. The results are shown below.

Experiment using a Squash Ball with 1 dot.

Temperature ( 0C )

Height which the Squash Ball bounces ( cm )

2

3

16

11

46

34

62

44

69

                  47

Experiment using a Squash Ball with 2 dots.

Temperature ( 0C )

Height which the Squash Ball bounces ( cm )

1

3

21

13.5

43

28

57

43

69

                  47

Looking at the results of these experiments I have decided to use a squash ball with 2 dots. This is because this will provide a middle range of results. The results will neither be too small of too high.

Method

Apparatus list:

1 Squash Ball ( 2 dots )

1 Metre Ruler

7 water baths ( 10, 20 , 30 , 40 , 50 , 60 , 70)

1 container filled with water and ice

1 pair of tongs

1 pair of safety goggles

1 clamp

1 retort stand

1 boss

1 peg

First of all, I will gather all the equipment required to do the experiment shown above.

Put on a pair of safety goggles to ensure that no hot water is splashed into the eyes.

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Conclusion

Charles law also states that “The volume of a fixed mass of gas at constant pressure is proportional to its absolute temperature.“

This scientific reasoning from a secondary source shows that as the temperature increases the pressure of a fixed volume of gas increases. Within the squash ball there is a fixed volume of air. When this heats up the molecules will move faster and therefore collide with the inside walls of the squash ball more frequently, hence a larger pressure. If the pressure of the air within the squash ball was increased the ball would become firmer and therefore more "energetic" in its return to its original round shape. When the squash ball hits the ground it deforms but the pressure within the ball pushes the inside of the ball outwards, which causes the squash ball to bounce back. Therefore if the pressure within the squash ball was increased the quicker the ball would return to its original shape resulting in a higher bounce. Also the rubber will be easier to bend and therefore less energy is lost through the deformation of the squash ball when it hits the ground.

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