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

Calculate how the acceleration varies when heavier weights or light weights are used, either the force pushing the trolley or the force acting downwards on the trolley.

Extracts from this document...


Physics Coursework


In this investigation, instead of using a large, full-size supermarket trolley, we will be using a scaled down version, which will imitate the larger trolley. We will be using weights on a pulley system, hanging over the desk to represent the weight which would be in the shopping trolley.

Introduction: This experiment is to find out the answer to a problem by a pupil. This is as follows- A pupil was pushing a trolley around a supermarket for her parents during a recent shopping trip. Each time she moved the trolley, she was trying to keep it at a constant speed with the least acceleration. She realised that sometimes it was easy, but at other times it was harder. She wondered what it was that is making the trolley easy or hard to push. In this experiment however, we shall be using a smaller version of the shopping trolley, as we do not have access to a full-size shopping trolley.

Discuss Problem: The problem this pupil is having is that she wants to figure out what it is that makes her shopping trolley easier or harder to push. So by understanding it she may be able to reduce or eliminate the problem. What we will need

...read more.


Range: As we were limited with time we had to use a limited amount of weight, but we also needed a variety of weights. So we decided to go up in 100-gram weights each time. So the range of weights we ended up with was 1N-8N. This give us enough time to get the experiment done while still having a variety of results.

Treatment of Results: We took each 100g run 3 times each, and got the three results, added them and divided by 3 to get an average result. This was put into a graph which will be shown along with the table in the next section, obtaining. The formula for acceleration is                    

2 x Distance


...read more.


Improvements: For this experiment there are quite a few improvements to be made. The first and most important one is to get light or infra red gates, which automatically record when the trolley has went past. These are very accurate and will definitely make up for the lose of accurate results due to human reaction response times. The next improvement would be to use a different, smoother surface to reduce friction between the trolley and surface, as this would also make results a lot more accurate. The most obvious idea for this would be a trolley hovering on a bed of air, as friction is greatly reduced. The next improvement would be to get more runs in per person, as this would give a better average. The only reason we could get 3 in per person was due to time restrictions. Also we should try the experiment with a different variable, I.E weights on top, to see if we would get better or worse results.

Equation-I used various different equations throughout this experiment. To calculate the acceleration of the trolley, I used the equation: 2 x Distance.


When I had devised a graph, I used the gradient to work out a formula for the acceleration of the trolley. The gradient was:

13.4 ÷ 5 = 2.68

Therefore the formula for the acceleration in this experiment was:

Acceleration = 2.68 x force

...read more.

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. An investigation into the acceleration of a trolley up a ramp.

    What could have occurred is that the trolley was placed at different angles on the ramp each time which would mean that it would not be going straight up the ramp, but across it. Also, the trolley could have scraped against the edge of the ramp which would have slowed the ramp down.

  2. An investigation into factors that effect the braking distance of a trolley

    It would be pointless to experiment with heights ranging from 1cm-4cm because series of data would be small in order to show trends. I have chosen a range of 5cm - 45cm giving a better variation. We are going to release the trolley three times for each height.

  1. To determine the relationship between mass and acceleration when force is kept constant.

    would also increase. The graph shows the average results for 1/mass against acceleration. The main point that I have focused on so far is that when this graph is plotted, because of its direct relation to the formula F = ma, the graph shows the following a = F (1 / m).

  2. Investigating the Factors Which Affect the Motion of a Trolley Down an Inclined Plane

    The components I will keep consistent throughout will be: 1. Height of Ramp: As we are investigating if the mass of the trolley we must not increase or decrease the height, that would not give us accurate results. 2. Friction will slow down the speed at which the trolley travels.

  1. The determination of the acceleration due to gravity at the surface of the earth, ...

    you are moving the pendulum through only one plane. 10. Stand, so that you can see the pendulum swinging from side to side. One oscillation will be taken to be when the bob swings from the left extreme, passes equilibrium to the right extreme and back again to the left extreme.

  2. Speed Of trolley

    So generally at the top (when the trolley is at the top of the runway) there is potential energy and at the bottom (where the trolley is at the bottom of the runway) kinetic energy has been used. Variable 2: Surface of the Runway Prediction: If the surface of the runway is smooth then the trolley will travel faster.

  1. Lab Report on Acceleration

    Average Times: Mass of Cart (kg) LG1 Time (s) LG2 Time (s) 0.41 0.40 0.20 0.46 0.43 0.22 0.51 0.46 0.23 0.56 0.49 0.25 0.61 0.51 0.26 0.66 0.55 0.28 0.71 0.58 0.29 0.76 0.61 0.31 0.81 0.66 0.34 0.86 0.79 0.39 If then to calculate the velocity we will take the length of the card (17 cm)

  2. GCSE Physics - Force, Mass and Acceleration Coursework

    keep all the experiments the same i.e the method in which we do it has to keep the same.

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