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

Converting gravitational potential energy into kinetic energy.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

GCSE PHYSICS COURSEWORK

CONVERTING GRAVITATIONAL POTENTIAL ENERGY INTO KINETIC ENERGY

Aim

  • To investigate how gravitational potential energy in a ball bearing is transformed into kinetic energy when it is released from rest at the top of a runway and it slides to the bottom and rolls on the bench along a distance of 1 metre.  

Prediction

  • As energy can’t be created or destroyed, the amount of kinetic energy the ball bearing would gain as dropped from the runway should be the same as the amount of gravitational potential energy it stored.

HOWEVER

  • Because the ball bearing would lose energy in the form of sound as if it is released from the runway when it rolls, the input energy wouldn’t be the same as the output energy but slightly less.

image00.png

Procedure

  • A ball bearing is released from rest at the top of the runway and it will lose gravitational potential energy and gain kinetic energy as it rolls from the top of the bottom.
  • When it reaches the bottom it should roll along the bench at a constant speed as long as the bench is horizontal.
  • The speed, v , can be found by measuring the time it takes for the ball bearing to travel a distance of 1m.
  • If the mass of the ball bearing is m kg , then loss of gravitational potential energy = m×g×h

Whereas

  • The gain of kinetic energy = ½×m×v²

(h   in metres, v    in m/s & g= 10N/ kg)

Method

  • First, we set the apparatus shown in the diagram. After that, we set the height (h) to 5cm initially and measured this distance as accurately as we possibly could. Then we released a ball bearing at the top of the runway and as it reached the bottom, we recorded the time it rolled through a distance of 1m along the bench. We then repeated the measurement two more times to obtain an average time to make the results more accurate.
  • We then increased the height (h) in steps of about 2cm, each time taking three measurements of the time taken for the ball bearing to roll 1m along the bench. We continued this till we had obtained measurements for 10 different values of (h) – 0.05m, 0.07,m, 0.09m, 0.11cm. . . 0.23m
  • Moving on, we measured the mass of the ball bearing so we could use it in the formula   Ep = mgh  & Ek = ½mv² to calculate the loss in gravitational potential energy and gain in kinetic energy.
  • Finally, we plotted a graph of the gain of kinetic energy (½mv²) on the vertical axis against the loss of gravitational potential energy (mgh) on the horizontal axis.
  • We then observed, analysed and commented on the results we obtained.
...read more.

Middle

Metre rule Bench Ball bearing Stop watch

Diagram

image01.png

Measurements

A graph of the gain of kinetic energy against the loss of gravitational potential energy when a ball bearing is released at the top and it reaches the bottom and roles through a distance of 1m along the table.

Gravitational Potential Energy

Kinetic Energy

Conclusion

Theoretically, my prediction was correct as my results supported it. The gravitational potential energy lost by the ball bearing when it rolled down the runway and onto the bench, wasn’t the same as the kinetic energy gained but slightly less, for most measurements.  This is because the ball bearing lost energy in the form of sound and heat as it came in contact with the runway sides when it was sliding downwards on to the bench.

However, the reason why not all my points don’t lie on my line of best fit was due to measurement errors while I was doing the experiment or plotting a graph. These errors would have been occurred

  • while timing the ball bearing

                 (rolling a distance of 1m along the bench) due to inconsistent

                  human reflexes,

  • by not making sure the height is set correctly
...read more.

Conclusion

do an experiment on more even surfaces to reduce energy being lost in the form of heat by friction when the ball bearing slides down the runway or hits the sides on the way down the runway. Take more measurements for each reading to obtain more reliable and accurate averages Be more careful and alert in measuring and timing. Have the same person operating the stop watch as different people’s have different reaction times which may not give reliable enough results to reach a firm conclusion. Do the experiment in the same environment on the same day so that changes in room temperature doesn’t affect energy transformations – e.g. when the room temperature is higher, the runway floor would become hotter and the ball bearing sliding on it would lose more heat energy by friction. Use an even more accurate metre ruler to make the timing of the ball bearing rolling along the distance of 1m, more accurate. Enlarge the distance I want the ball bearing to roll along so chances of obtaining inaccurate timing of the ball bearing is reduced. Use a smoother ball bearing so it loses less energy in the form of heat and sound when it slides along the runway floor.

...read more.

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

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Investigation into Energy Released From Burning Various Alcohols.

    4 star(s)

    396.31 400.19 3 11.76 329.85 1 Propan-2-ol 7.39 426.46 2 8.40 494.12 500.17 3 7.06 579.95 1 Butan-1-ol 10.08 810.78 2 10.42 802.90 811.12 3 10.08 819.69 1 Pentan-1-ol 7.73 985.60 2 7.06 899.90 976.36 3 8.06 1043.58 To get the numbers for the amount of energy liberated, in kilojoules,

  2. physics of the bouncing ball

    However upon impact this energy is converted to elastic potential energy. This means that the ball is compressed like a spring, and it is this reaction force that pushes the ball back up into the air. The tennis ball being furry has a larger surface, which will cause more friction and resistance.

  1. Physics ball bearing investiagtion

    9- Do the same experiment, on the same heights but do each height 5 times, and record the results. Calculation: GPE = m.h.g. = KE = 1/2mv2 Therefore v = V (2.h.g) Results Table Height (m) GPE (Joules) KE(Joules) Velocity(m/sec)

  2. Heat loss

    These are just some ways to prevent the heat transfers, but there are plenty. Evaluation I thought my planning was quite well done; my predictions were correct in that aspect. My results also represented my predictions and from all the results recorded, my predictions were correct in all areas too.

  1. Find the realtionship between gravitational potential and kinetic energy

    If it falls, the force of gravity (which is equal to the stone's weight) will act on it until it strikes the ground; the stone's potential energy is equal to its weight times the distance it can fall. Kinetic energy is the energy a body possesses because it is in motion.

  2. Experiment to investigate the energy given of in food stuffs.

    * Collect the three different types of peanut and weight them to make sure they weight 0.3g this is ensure it is a fair test. * Pierce the peanut with needle without damaging the peanut and not cutting yourself and put in place in the clamp.

  1. Investigate how the height a ball is dropped from affects the re-bounce of it.

    The ball squashes because it is hollow; the more it squashes the more energy- in the form of heat- it loses, thus when it is squashed it stores energy as strain/elastic potential energy. This means that it can bounce back.

  2. Investigation to see the relationship between actual and theoretical energy released when burning different ...

    energy than Propan-1-ol, which needs more energy to break its bonds so it has less to give off, as they both make the same products. I calculated the bond energies for each of the products and reactants in each experiment, for each alcohol.

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