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distance travelled by a car at different heights of a ramp.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Experiment to investigate the distance travelled by a car at different heights of a ramp.

In this experiment I am going to investigate whether the gravitational potential energy effects on the speed of my toy automobile or not.

My variable factor is the height of my ramp.

Prediction:

I think as the ramp gets higher, the speed of my automobile increases, and it also travels a further distance.

That’s because the gravitational potential energy pulls every thing towards itself, and in here as the toy automobile gets further away, the gravitational potential puts more energy to pull the car, that’s why the car goes faster.

Apparatus list:

• A ramp.
• A ruler. (up to 2metres)
• A plastic automobile.
• A stopwatch.
• 10 woodblocks

Method:

• Set up a ramp at the height of 1 cm (1 wood block) of the ground and in a specific area that you will keep the same and put a ruler at the end of ramp on the floor (extended to the ramp)
• Put the car at the top of ramp at a specific point that I will keep the same.
• Then allow the car to roll down the ramp and along the floor till it stops.
• Measure the distance between the end of ramp and the back of car (the stopping distance).
• Repeat the experiment for 4 times.
• Record the results each time.
• Add 1 more wood block and do the same experiment for 4 times again.
• Each time add a wood block to increase the height of ramp till you get up to 10 wood blocks.

* USE THE SAME CAR EACH TIME TO HAVE A FAIR TEST.

There are some factors that I kept the same. In order to keep the experiment fair:

• The plastic car.(because the variety in cars might effect the distance it travels.)
• The same point on the ramp to start the car rolling down .
• The same area to do the experiment.(because the ups and downs on the surface of the ground might increase its friction therefore the speed would decrease.)
• The same ramp each time.

Middle

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

2

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

3

14.2

14.4

12.8

10.9

13.1

4

30.5

33.8

37.0

31.8

33.3

5

43.2

47.6

38.2

46.8

44.0

6

57.2

44.2

55.5

58.2

55.0

7

61.5

72.4

64.2

60.9

64.8

8

71.2

69.4

68.2

66.5

68.8

9

77.3

91.5

84.4

79.5

83.2

10

85.7

100.0

88.8

89.2

91.0

*Calculations for Kinetic Energy and Potential Energy:

Ke = ½ mass x speed²                Mass of the car = 0.0165 kg

 Height of the ramp(cm) Kinetic Energy (J) 10 0.5 x 0.0165 x 0.492²  =  0.001997 9 0.5 x 0.0165 x 0.476²  =  0.001869 8 0.5 x 0.0165 x 0.458²  =  0.001731 7 0.5 x 0.0165 x 0.411²   =  0.001394 6 0.5 x 0.0165 x 0.377²  =  0.001173 5 0.5 x 0.0165 x 0.319²   =  0.000840

Pe = mass x gravity x height

 Height of the ramp (m)

Conclusion

That clearly shows as the height of the ramp gets higher it takes the car to travel the same distance faster and with more powerful speed.

Evaluation:

In my experiment I’ve tried to keep my test fairly and accurate, so I’ve kept all the factors the same except my variables factors , and I repeated my recorded results for more than 2 times in order to keep it a fair test but during my experiment I’ve made a mistake in calculating of the time taken by car to travel at the same distance,(because I was using a handy stop watch) at the height of 9cm,the result was anomaly so I had to repeat the experiment.

If I was going to do the experiment once more, I would use a light gate for calculating the time’s been taken by the car to travel the same distance of 60cm. Because that would improve my experiment and it would give me more accurate results.

I would also repeat the experiment more than 4times to obtain more accurate results.

I would also use different cars to obtain a larger range of results and I could compare them to each other to find out the effect of gravitational potential energy on different masses.

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

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