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Find out and observe how different variables affect the rate of bounce on a squash ball.

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Physic’s Coursework


The aim of this experiment is to find out and observe how different variables affect the rate of bounce on a squash ball. There are many variables that affect the rate of this reaction such as the following:

  1. Drop Height (Meters)
  2. Surface (e.g. Grass, tarmac etc)
  3. Temperature of ball (°C)
  4. Drop/Throw (Force)
  5. Air Drag
  6. Angle*
  7. Area
  8. Mass of ball
  9. Pressure of air in ball
  10. Material of ball

Height of bounce between first and second bounce.

In my investigation I will be testing how changing the angle affects the distance between the first and second bounce of a squash ball. I will do various experiments and then evaluate the results and come to a conclusion.


Collision theory - Collisions between reactant particles are needed for the reaction to take place in order to form a product. Some collisions are successful and give a product while others don't because particles don't have enough energy.

Activation energy - The amount of energy needed for the reaction to be started. If there is enough energy then the reaction takes place and a product is formed, but if there isn't enough then no reaction takes place.

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Speed, distance travelled by an object in unit time. The SI unit for speed is metres per second (m/s), and the most used everyday unit is miles per hour (mph). Speed is a scalar quantity, as it has only magnitude, whereas velocity is a vector quantity, in that it has direction as well as magnitude. The speed of an object can be found by dividing the distance it has travelled by the time that it has taken to do so. Thus if a car travels 500 m in 20 s (regardless of the direction of travel), its speed is 500/20 m/s, that is, 25 m/s.

Gravitational Forces:

Because the moon has significantly less mass than the earth, the weight of an object on its surface is only one-sixth of its weight on the earth’s surface. This graph shows how the weight of an object with weight w on earth varies with respect to its position between the earth and moon. Since the earth and moon pull in opposite directions, there is a point, 346,000 km (215,000 mi) from the earth, where the opposite gravitational forces cancel, and the weight is zero.


Preliminary Work:

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Analysing Evidence and Conclusions:

From looking at my results and graph I am able to conclude that between the angle 45° and 60° gives the best results as it has the largest space between the 1st and 2nd bounce. As we look at the ‘mean graph’ we can clearly see that this statement is true.

Before I did the experiments I made some predictions they were that between the angles 45° - 60° will have the best out come due to the forces acting upon the squash ball. This was completely correct because what I thought would happen did.

At this point I am able to answer my main hypothesis which was ‘How does changing the angle affect the distance between the 1
st and 2nd bounce’ the answer to this would be that changing the angle of drop would either have a greater gap between the two bounces or a decrease between the two bounces.

Overall this was a very successful experiment and everything went very smoothly, and that was why my results were very good, and I am able to make a conclusion like this.



New Modular Science for GCSE

The New Book of Knowledge

GCSE Science


Microsoft, Encarta, Encyclopaedia Deluxe 2000

Britannica, Encyclopaedia Deluxe 2000

Software Programs:

Microsoft Office XP Professional (Student Licence)

Microsoft Word 2000

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