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Investigating the distance a trolley travels down a ramp.

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Introduction

Investigating the distance a trolley travels down a ramp

I am investigating the factors that may affect the distance of a trolley travelling before coming to rest.

When the trolley is raised to the top of the ramp it has gravitational potential energy (when it is stationary), which then converts to kinetic energy as (work is done) it moves down the slope and finally loses its kinetic energy caused by friction, converts back into potential energy as the trolley comes to rest.

K.E = ½mv²

EP = mgh

K.E – Kinetic energy

K.E = ½mv2

Kinetic Energy is energy in an object, as a result movement. The amount of the kinetic energy depends on the mass and the speed of the object. When the object is lifted from a surface a vertical force is applied to the object. As this force acts through a distance, energy is transferred to the object.

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Middle

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400

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500

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600

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700

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Results:

Run 1

Mass (g)

Distance (m)

Time (s)

0

7.33

7.29

100

7.35

8.07

200

7.70

6.82

300

8.10

7.32

400

6.90

8.90

500

7.40

8.35

600

7.10

10.90

700

7.60

8.40

Run 2

Mass (g)

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Conclusion

Factors that I think have corrupted this test:

  • The floor is uneven and has crack, stones etc therefore the trolley will not travel straight and will not reach maximum capability.
  • The wheels are not perfectly smooth and round, also front wheel was not straight and a little loose.
  • The trolley went along the tape several times and as the measuring tape is smoother than the ground it will travel further because there is less friction.
  • The wind may also of had an small partition of slowing or speeding up the trolley too.
  • At the end of the ramp there was a small bump where the ramp met the floor this will slow the trolley down and waste more time.

Some of these can be prevented but some cannot. So if I did this experiment again I would do it inside on a smooth surface and maybe use a ramp with a slanted end so there wont be as much gap between the ramp + floor.

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