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

INVESTIGATING HOW STEEPNESS AFFECTS SPEED

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

INVESTIGATING HOW STEEPNESS AFFECTS SPEED

PLAN

Aim

The aim of this investigation is to find how the steepness of a ramp affects the speed of a ball rolling down it.

Prediction

I predict that the steeper the ramp the faster a ball will roll down it. So their will be greater acceleration i.e. the ball will speed up. This is because their will be less resultant force as the ramp gets steeper. I can back my prediction by using forces as part of my hypothesis.

Research

Newton’s laws of motion

  • 1st law- balanced forces mean no change in velocity

            So long as the forces of an object are all balanced it’ll just stay still or else if   it’s already moving it’ll just carry on at the same velocity.image00.png

image01.png

  • 2nd law- a resultant force means acceleration

 If there is an unbalanced force, then the object will accelerate in that direction.

The reaction force

Is always 90°C from the slope

As the ramp gets steeper there is less reaction force balancing the weight so there is greater resultant force.image12.png

  • 3rd law- reaction forcesimage20.png

            If object A exerts a force on object B then object B exerts the exact opposite force on object A.

Whenever an object is on a horizontal surface, there’ll always be a reaction force pushing upwards, supporting the object.  The total reaction force will be equal and opposite of the weight.

...read more.

Middle

71.2

13.5

85

1.41  1.53  1.50

1.48

Practice golf ball

4.2

13.5

85

1.50   1.47   1.50

1.49

Results

The aim of this investigation is to investigate how steepness affects speed so I will use the following formula to work out the speed of each ball from the average result.

Ball

Speed (cm per second)

Ping pong

50.8

Cricket

45.9

Practice golf ball

46.1

Ping pong

58.6

Cricket

57.4

Practice golf ball

57.0

Conclusion

From the above set of results I can see that as I increased the height it took less time for the ball(s) to roll down the ramp. Because as the ramp gets steeper there will be less force balancing the weight, thus, there will be a greater resultant force. However I only tried two different heights so the results are not very reliable.

Improvements

After carrying out my preliminary work I realised that I could have made the test more reliable. For my actual experiment I will use six different heights and repeat each experiment five times to get more accurate results. Also I will calculate the angle of the ramp at each stage to ensure my results are correct.

Scale

I think it is important to space my heights out in a suitable range so it enables me to observe clearly how the steepness affects the speed. I am going to use the following heights: 4cm, 7cm, 15cm, 18cm, 23cm, and 30cm.

Fair testing

After carrying out my Preliminary run I realised that I could have made the test more accurate to get more reliable results. In my experiment I will take in to consideration the following;

  • I will make sure that I roll my ball the same distance in all the different heights.
  • I will try to push the ball with the same force each time
  • I will use the same books to hold my ramp up each time to ensure that less errors are made
  • I will calculate the angle of the ramp so I can check that as the height increases so does the angle. I will use the following formula:

Angle=heightimage08.png

             Horizontal  -inverse tangent        

             length

I will calculate this angle

Safety

Safety is very important in a scientific experiment even if the experiment may seem harmless. To make this experiment safe I will make sure equipment is always handled with a lot of care to avoid an accident.  Also I will not run around as one could get hurt. Also I will keep the desktop that I am working as clean as possible, so that there is nothing on the desktop, except for the apparatus needed thus; an accident does not happen. If an accident does occur I will inform the teacher straightaway.

Apparatus

  • Ball
  • Ramp
  • Books
  • Ruler
  • Stop clock
  • Mass scale  
...read more.

Conclusion

  • Another way to record the time would be to use a light gate. This would be connected to a computer light and it would indicate when the ball passes the points at the top and bottom connected to the lights.image23.png

        Computer

   Starting light

   gate                                                                                                         Finishing light

        gate

On the whole I think my experiment went really well. I believe that I carried out my experiment reasonably, and I encountered no problems. As a result I ended up with an applicable set of results.

Further work

I could carry out another experiment that would be quite similar to this one. I could investigate how the mass of a ball affected the speed. The two changing variables would be the weight of the ball and the steepness of the slope. Fair testing and safety would be just as important. I would have to use the same apparatus and overall the same method. Also all the improvements I mentioned above I could use for this experiment.

I would predict that the ball with greater mass would roll down the slowest and the ball with the least mass would roll down the fastest. This is because a greater force would be needed to accelerate the ball with more mass, whereas a smaller amount of force would be needed to accelerate the ball will less mass. Also my preliminary run backs up my prediction as I can see that it took the three balls at the same height different speeds to roll down.

-  -

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Forces and Motion 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 Forces and Motion essays

  1. Investigation into factors affecting the speed of a car rolling down a ramp

    As you can see the energy lost also increases as the height of the ramp increases, with the exception of the last point where the energy lost is lower than if it followed the trend. However, the increase in the loss of energy is so small that on a zoomed-out

  2. Bouncing Ball Experiment

    similar anomalies were recorded for one height, if they were then they both would be discounted. However if two results are recorded that do not fit the trend of other results nor are close to results recorded for that height then the experiments accuracy would be brought into doubt.

  1. Investigate and measure the speed of a ball rolling down a ramp.

    But when the ramp is put vertically (900) the ball would free fall at the speed of gravity (9.81 m/s), due to the ramp not being there to put friction against the ball, and to deflect its course to another direction.

  2. In this experiment I aim to find out how the force and mass affect ...

    Conclusion I have concluded from my results that the gravitational field strength of the earth is 9.8 N/Kg. This is only accurate to two significant figures because of the limitations of quality and accuracy of the experiment. If I were to use more accurate equipment I would probably be able

  1. What affects the acceleration of a trolley down a ramp?

    This means the acceleration must be rising by a steady rate to have a gradient and be a straight line, this is a pattern I have identified. I also notice that in my results of the time it takes before I do any calculations the gap between the results for each height is decreasing.

  2. Trolley Speed

    Seeing as we are using the same trolley we can focus on the speed. Increases in speed, results in an increased amount of friction. If the speed of the trolley travelling down the ramp is high we then know that that the friction is also high.

  1. Factors Affecting the Speed of a Car after Freewheeling down a Slope

    were used. Apparatus: Power pack Ticker tape Two leads Ticker timer Runway Cellotape Ramp (1m) 10 X 100g masses Trolley Kitchen roll Retort stand (X 2) Metre ruler Two clamps Bar Diagram: Method: The apparatus was set up as shown in the diagram above, for all three following experiments.

  2. Investigation is to see how changing the height of a ramp affects the stopping ...

    that it would be able to measure the toy car's speed > Lay out a metre ruler starting from the end of the ramp on the desk so that I can measure how far the toy car has travelled, i.e.

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