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In this experiment I am going to find out how and why the temperatures of a squash ball affect its rebound height.

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In this experiment I am going to find out how and why the temperatures of a squash ball affect its rebound height. To do this, I will be heating or cooling a blue squash ball to different temperatures (27˚and above) to see if it has an effect on the height of its bounce. I will also use scientific theories to back up any conclusions I make.

To ensure that my experiment is as fair and accurate as possible and other 
variables are fixed I will;

 1) Use the same ball throughout;

2) Ensure the bounce surface is flat, smooth and as hard as possible;

3) Use the same observer to measure the bounce height of the ball;

4) Leave the ball to heat up for the same amount of time for all the temperatures; 
5) Release the ball from a stationary hand;

6) Measure the height achieved by the top of the ball. 

The variables in this experiment could be the type of squash ball, so
the pressure of the air in the ball. I could change the type of
surface that the ball would be dropped onto, for example a carpeted
surface would have a lower bounce than on a tiled surface. Other
variables would be the height at which the ball was dropped, the
material of the ball, the acceleration due to gravity, the balls'

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Group 7

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My results show a clear correlation between temperature increase and 
the height achieved when bounced. So this means that heating the ball does give it more energy than it originally had. The sort of energy must be kinetic energy, in the molecules of the rubber and air. Heat energy is also present. 

Intermolecular forces of attraction hold solid matter together. These 
forces can be described to be like springs holding the elastic 
material together. When a squash ball hits a surface these springs are 
compressed and stretched. The stretching and compressing of the 
springs stores the kinetic energy (k.e.) of the ball as potential elastic 
energy (p.e.e). When all the kinetic energy has been stored the spring 
will release the p.e.e. back into k.e. by returning to their original 
shape. Some of the kinetic energy is lost during this transition and 
it becomes heat energy (warming up the springs). So the ball doesn’t 
bounce back to its original height. 

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same reading three times. If I had the result after that reading then 
I would be able to see if the curve went back down or if it continued 
on that steepness or balanced out there after. For know all I can say 
is that it could be a mistake of the reading on my part. Or it could 
be a strange property of the ball that at a certain temperature and 
bounce height its bounce efficiency suddenly increases dramatically 
(which I doubt). I am going to put the result down to human error 
because the other two bounce heights don’t display the same property 
at that temperature. 

Even though there were divertive results (outliers) as this doesn’t undermine my conclusion because it still follows the same pattern of bounce increasing with temperature. It does put the effectiveness of my method and the reliability of my experiment.

There are some improvements I would like to make to my method to 
improve the reliability of my results:

  • Firstly, after taking the first reading I would place the ball back in the beaker (hot water or cold water) for a minute to ensure that the temperature stays fixed for each height.
  • Secondly, I would do some higher and lower temperatures to see if there is a maximum bounce height or if the bounce height gets higher and higher until the ball melts.
  • I would also like to repeat the whole experiment at least three 
    times to ensure maximum reliability. 

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