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How does the temperature of a squash ball affects the impact time of the ball drops from a certain height.

Extracts from this document...


Physics Extended Essay                                                   Homing Chiu

EE Extended Essay

How does the temperature of a squash ball affects the impact time of the ball drops from a certain height

                                                        Homing Chiu


In this research, I investigated how temperature affects the average force of impact when the squash ball was dropped from a height of 130cm. After collecting data; I then applied the formula image65.png and calculate the average force F.

The research consisted of two experiments. Of which, one (a) was to find out the impact time of the squash ball that dropped from a height of 130cm. The other one (b) was to find out the rebound height of the squash ball from a dropping height of 130cm.

In experiment (a), I made a set up to measure the conduction time when the ball is impacting the ground. I assume that the conduction time is equal to the impact time of the balls. Different results were recorded from temperatures between 20oC to 100 oC with 10 oC intervals. The results showed that the variation in impact time were very trivial that the set up is not fine enough to sense the different.

In experiment (b), rebounds of ball of different temperatures ranged from 20oC to 100 oC with intervals of 10 oC were directly measured by measuring the rebound height. Results showed a uprising curve with a decreasing gradient.

With the two data, I then calculated the average force act on the squash ball. A graph was also drawn for further and deeper explanation of the effect of temperature on average force of squash ball. Hence I can explain the application of the results to the sport.

Finally, the limitations and errors of the experiment that could have affected the reliability of the results in the experiment were evaluated.



Introduction                                                       3

Hypothesis                                                        4

Method and materials                                                

        Experiment (a)                                                  5

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But deficiencies are still being found for this alternative. There is reaction time error in working the timer. The reaction error is even larger than the impact time. Also, the highest point the ball reaches may not be accurately detected. So the measurement is considered not working.

  1. Digital-video camera approach

Use the camera to take the impacting images of the ball. Then replay the film to find out the time of impact. As we found out that the impact time is around 0.03

Final decision

After series of consideration, I made the final choice to use the option 3. Despite its limitation that may lead to over estimation of results, I found the problems that may occur in No.3 least essential. Moreover stretching the upper foil a little can reduce the deformation of the upper foil. So this measuring method was selected.

Experimental set up.

In the experiment I prepared the following material for the setting up.


Kettle, clamp, chopsticks, squash balls, stand, towel, scalar timer, aluminium foil, aluminium tape, plastic tape, wire, clips, cutting board, a pack of unused paper card.


First of all, Impact Time Measuring Device (ITMD) was made as core of the set up:

Aluminium foil was stuck to the cutting board until its upper surface was completely filled up by the tape. I then check the conduction of the foil to ensure no gaps between each strip of tape. Then an 8x8cm2 hole was made from 10x10cm2 paper card. A piece of 8x9cm2 foil was then stretched on the middle of the hole. Then I used tape to fix the foil on two ends of the hole. The paper card with the foil on top was put onto the upper surface (with foil)

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Renew the upper foil whenever it deforms to avoid over estimation of impact time. However it may be inconvenient.

Change to another method in measuring the impact time. e.g. light sensor.

For the measuring of the rebound height, we can ask a partner to observe the rebound ball at the same level to improve accuracy. We can also do more repetitions for more data.

Drop the squash balls directly without transferring them to the clamp on the stand. However high delicacy is need to ensure the dropping height is right and not initial force is applied to the ball.


The results of the experiment stated that there are changes of average force acted on the ball by the impact surface with the velocity of ball hold constant. The maximum average force will be reached at temperature around 95oC. This proved that the hypothesis to be true. However the hypothesis for the impact time was not proven to be true as the set up was appropriate enough to measure the data accurately.

Nevertheless, the result still showed the rate of increase in average force of impact at different. By using the data we can know that at what temperature does the squash ball work most effectively with the smallest force given. The data can also be useful for the manufacture of squash ball.





Method of measuring with stroboscopic photos


Method of measuring with ultrasonic position sensor


Method of measuring with conduction sensor


Method of measuring with light sensor


Method of measuring with formula and calculation


Method of measuring with digital-video camera approach


The graph of rebound height against temperature


Average force at different temperature o f the squash ball


The graph of average force acted on the ball by the ground against the temperature


...read more.

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