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Factors That Affect Velocity

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Introduction

Factors That Affect Velocity

Aim:

The aim of this experiment is to see how velocity is affected by the height of the plane (angle) and the distance travelled.

Hypothesis:

I predict that as the height of the plane increases, the velocity of the dynamic trolley will also increase. This is because: mgh = ½mv²

  • m = mass (in kilograms)
  • g = gravitational acceleration of the earth
  • h = height above earth's surface (in meters)
  • v = velocity (in meters/sec)

From the equation, you can see that as height increases, velocity will also increase and vice versa. As the velocity increases there will be more air resistance but the frictional force against the dynamic trolley will remain the same, therefore the resistive forces will not be enough to counteract the increase in speed.

I also think that the velocity will increase when the distance that the trolley has to travel is increased. Air resistance and the frictional forces against the trolley will increase.

Apparatus:

  • Clamp
  • Inclined plane
  • Stand
  • Foam barrier
  • Light gate
  • Data harvester
  • Dynamic trolley

image00.png

Apparatus Diagram:

Method:

In this experiment I aim to find out how height and distance affect velocity. I shall do this by setting up an experiment involving a light gate and a dynamic trolley. The light gate is

...read more.

Middle

2.313

2.307

2.29

2.303

5.305

0.40

0.222

2.44

2.434

2.447

2.44

5.955

sinø was calculated by:  (opposite/hypotenuse)

                                           = (height/1.8)

Table 2: shows the velocity of the trolley when travelling different distances.

Length (m)

Velocity1 (m/s)

Velocity2 (m/s)

Velocity3 (m/s)

Average Velocity (m/s)

0.2

0.798

0.784

0.778

0.787

0.4

0.982

0.974

0.968

0.975

0.6

1.143

1.149

1.14

1.144

0.8

1.273

1.28

1.277

1.277

1

1.402

1.409

1.411

1.407

1.2

1.633

1.627

1.631

1.63

1.4

1.569

1.598

1.569

1.579

1.6

1.573

1.575

1.576

1.575

1.8

1.66

1.679

1.671

1.67

Analysis:

Graph 1: the relationship of the velocity squared (v²) of the trolley with the height of the plane.

image01.png

Graph 2: the relationship of the velocity squared of the trolley when the height of the plane is changed.

image02.png

Graph 3: shows how the velocity of the trolley is affected by the distance travelled.

image03.png

Evaluation:

Graph 1 shows that the velocity squared (v²) increases as the height of the ramp increases and therefore my hypothesis is proved correct. This can be explained by the principle of conservation of energy

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Conclusion

Newton's 1st law comes into place: when an object stays at rest or moves at a constant velocity, there must be balanced forces.

From graph 3, I can see that the terminal velocity is            

Improvements:

There are many ways in which my project could have been improved. I could have:

  • Taken more than three readings; this would have made the accuracy of the data much more reliable.
  • Used larger range of heights and distance, this could have shown me whether the trend I got from the graphs continued and so forth, the results and graphs would have been more accurate.
  • In this experiment, the height and length were changed by 0.05m and 0.2m respectively.  The accuracy of the results could be improved by implementing smaller changes in the height and length of the slope.
  • A more uniform ramp could have been used to decrease frictional forces against the trolley.

Conclusion:

From the results and my analysis of them,  I can conclude that when one variable changes, it will effect other variables, depending on what the relationship is between the two variables. In the lab when the:

  • frictional coefficient increases, the acceleration decreases.
  • height of the slope increases, the potential energy of the trolley increases.
  • angle of the incline increases, the velocity increases.
  • distance travelled increases, the velocity also increases but only until the forces become balanced, which then results in constant velocity.

Bibliography:

  • Understanding physics for advanced level by Jim Breithaupt
  • Advancing physics CD-ROM

...read more.

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