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

How does the height a tennis ball bounce depend on the height the ball is dropped from?

Extracts from this document...


GCSE Coursework Experiment:

How does the height a tennis ball bounce depend _                                        on the height the ball is dropped from?


The aim of this experiment is to observe how the height a tennis ball bounces up from the floor after being dropped depends on the height the ball is dropped from, and to see if there is a link between them in any way.


Ipredict that the higher the height the ball is dropped from, the higher the ball will bounce back up again after hitting the floor. I predict this because

Background Information

What causes a dropped ball to bounce?

When a ball is lift off the floor, energy is transferred to it. This energy is stored in the gravitational force between the ball and the earth and is called gravitational potential energy. When the ball is released, its weight makes it accelerate downward and its gravitational potential energy gradually becomes kinetic energy, the energy of motion. When the ball hits the floor, both the ball's bottom surface and the floor's upper surface begin to distort and the ball's kinetic energy becomes elastic potential energy in these two distorted surfaces. The ball accelerates upward during this process and eventually comes to a complete stop.

...read more.


Drop the ball, do not throw it down. Let the ball fall out of your hand. If  you throw the ball down, you may not use the same force each time. This will not be fair and it will produce inaccurate results. Also, we won't be able to take accurate measurements of the ball bouncing back up again if the ball was thrown down because the ball would have bounced back up again with too much force.

Don't drop the ball in an enclosed space or when there are objects around that could get in the way. The ball could hit an object and this could affect the ball travelling and will produce inaccurate results.

From a preliminary experiment I did using balls of different weights, I discovered that the weight of the ball was an important factor to keep the same. The heavier the ball, the faster it will fall to the ground therefore the more and the higher the ball will bounce. If the weight was changed halfway through the experiment then the test will not be fair. This is because >info on weight<

I found that my results graph produced from my preliminary experiment did not have a smooth curve when I changed the weight of the ball halfway through. The graph looked a bit like this:


...read more.


The procedure was quite suitable, we did produce a good set of results that proved both the prediction made and the hypothesis tested true. We got the information and evidence we wanted and needed. Although the way we obtained our results was not entirely accurate, I would say that our evidence was quite reliable, the results recorded proved the prediction and hypothesis true. The evidence was sufficient enough for a firm conclusion; it makes sense and as said before, proves the prediction and hypothesis true. The evidence and the conclusion also tie in with the background information.

Further experiments to try out could be; how does the material a ball is made from affect the height it bounces?, and how does the surface the ball bounces on depend on the height the ball will bounce back up again? An improvement on the experiment we did would be to calculate the energy lost when the ball bounced. We will measure the ball first and then work out the energy lost by doing this simple equation:

Gravitational Potential Energy= Mass × Gravity × Height.

Just before the ball hits the floor, the Gravitational Potential Energy is converted into Kinetic Energy.

We can also calculate power and work done as an additional experiment and an improvement on the experiment we have just done.

...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. Find the realtionship between gravitational potential and kinetic energy

    the ramp * Masking tape: To keep the cardboard sheets on the ramp securely stuck to the bench.

  2. how and why temperature affects the bounce of a squash ball

    The bounces were conducted in under a minute to ensure that minimum cooling occurred, so the temperature will be accurate to within a degree. The values in the temperature column were taken from the hot water bath, not the ball.

  1. Energy transformation in a bouncing ball

    From the second graph, it shows that the ball is losing the same proportional of energy at each time. You can see that the points are not the line, because if the record is 1 cm higher or lower there will be a big percentage change, so that it is difficult to plot the graph very accurate.

  2. Investigating the relationship between drop height and bounce height when a ball is dropped.

    This could be the reason of elastic potential energy but we will have to see in out second set of results and find out the reason for it being 50% and not any other result. Plan During this experiment there will be many factors that you will have to take

  1. Physic Coursework - Squash ball experiment

    As the atoms in the ball move more they push each other away, because they have more energy to express. This results in the ball bouncing higher rather than bouncing lower. I also wrote about the use of certain energies in my prediction.

  2. The Bouncing Ball Experiment

    These factors are: Surface area of the ball Pressure inside the ball Material of the ball Material of the floor The force at which the ball is dropped by Accuracy of measurement. I chose to control the height that the ball was dropped from because with the equipment I was

  1. physics of the bouncing ball

    Another factor that will affect the bounce height will be the internal materials. The more pressure a ball has inside it, the less its surface dents during a bounce and the more of its original energy it stores in the compressed air.

  2. Does the height a ball is dropped from affect its efficiency?

    and often sounds as well. All the rest of the kinetic energy that hasn't been wasted as thermal energy or sound will be transformed into elastic potential energy when the ball comes into contact with the ground. When a ball hits a surface, all the kinetic energy it has stored is immediately transformed.

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