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Investigate how the height of an elevated ramp affects the speed, stopping time and stopping distance of a trolley.

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Planning Aim Our aim is to investigate how the height of an elevated ramp affects the speed, stopping time and stopping distance of a trolley. To do this we will have to carry out an experiment that is safe, fair and we will use the correct equipment. We will elevate the ramp to five different heights. We will repeat the run three times at each height to make sure we attain the optimum results. Diagram Scientific Knowledge When the trolley is at the top of the ramp it has Potential Energy. To work this out I will use the formula P.E=mgh. As the trolley starts to move the Potential Energy will be transferred into Kinetic Energy. To work out the transfer between the Potential Energy lost and the Kinetic Energy gained I will use the formula V=V2gh. This will not be completely accurate because some energy is lost through friction as Heat Energy. ...read more.


We will do three repeats at each height; these will be 4cm, 8cm, 12cm, 16cm and 20cm. We did a preliminary experiment to see what the maximum height was really appropriate, we found that 20cm was as high as we needed to go. We also used the prelim to uncover any complications we may encounter during the proper experiment. After I have carried out this experiment I will record my result in a table and then plot different graphs to present my results clearly. I will plot graphs such as; speed against stopping distance, energy lost against potential energy and height against stopping distance. Safety As in any experiment safety is very important. During this experiment care should be taken whilst handling the trolley when it is not in motion, as it has a spring loaded plunger that may cause harm to people. Care should be taken throughout the experiment not just whilst the trolley isn't in motion. ...read more.


I thought this because as the trolley got higher, it gained in gravitational potential energy, and thus was transferred into speed. As the speed of the trolley was higher it took longer in time and distance to stop; this was because more friction was needed to slow it down. My prediction is also backed up by this graph of speed against the Stopping distance; In the graph you can see that as the speed increases, as does the stopping distance. I think was because more frictional energy was needed to stop the trolley. In conclusion, as you increase the height of the ramp you are increasing the speed, stopping time and stopping distance of the trolley. This is because, as the trolley is lifted away from the ground, it gains potential energy, which then gets transferred in kinetic energy in creasing the speed. As the speed is increased, as does the stopping distance and time because more friction is need to slow the trolley down which inevitably results in a higher enrgy loss. Nick Rixton ...read more.

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