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# Investigation into the effects of temperature on a squash ball.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Investigation into the effects of temperature on a squash ball.

Josh fear23 November 2004

Aim:

I am intending to test the elasticity of a squash ball at different temperatures.

Introduction:

I will be testing the elasticity by heating or cooling the squash ball in water for 2 minuets to the desired temperature and then drop it from a height of 50cms, recording the number or bounces and the height of the first bounce. I will also be testing the squash ball under compression. I will be designing and building a device to compress the squash ball evenly under a mass of 40N, and then measuring the compression with a ruler.

A squash ball is a sealed unit. The volume of air within the ball is a fixed amount, or constant. When the ball is heated, the volume of air inside increases. This can be explained using collision theory of molecules.

From the diagram, we can see that at higher temperatures the molecules increase in velocity and therefore collide with the walls of the squash ball more often thus increasing the volume. However, the volume is not the only variable; the squash ball is providing an opposite force and therefore not expanding at the same rate as the air inside. This means that there is also an increase in pressure when the ball is heated.

From this, I believe that as the temperature increases, the higher the first bounce will be and the number of bounces will also increase proportionally.

Middle

179.34

60

194.25

70

239.21

80

284.15

90

318.71

100

358.11

Results:

From the graph we can see that the results, when plotted form a straight line. This means that as the temperature is increasing, the height of each bounce is increasing with it as a constant and proportional rate.

Observations:

When carrying out the procedure at 80ºc I pulled the ball from the water and placed it on a towel. I then dropped the ball from 500mm but didn’t get a very precise reading, and therefore repeated it quickly. When I repeated the drop, I expected the initial measurement for the height reading to be marginally lower than that of my first due the temperature of the ball dropping, however, this was not the case. I noticed that the bounce was actually higher, which baffled me. I proceeded to test the ball again at 80ºc when it was both wet and dry and again, the dry ball bounced higher. This made me think. I came up with the idea that what may have happened is that when the ball is wet, i.e.: has water on the surface of the ball, a membrane of water collects at the bottom of the ball. This membrane cushions the impact of the ball and absorbs some of its kinetic energy. Thus, on the return journey (back up) the ball leaves the surface of the table at a lower velocity (compared to a dry ball) and consequently reaches a lower height.  The diagram over page explains;

To replicate the effects the drop would have on the squash ball under standard conditions, I re-tested all the temperature intervals with the ball dry.

Number of Bounces:

Procedure:

Testing the number of bounces at each temperature interval was conducted at the same time as the height of the bounce. Once I had carried out the height of first bounce test, I placed the squash ball into the water again for a further 2 minuets to allow the ball to reheat to the correct temperature and then dropped the ball from 500mm and counted the number of bounces. Below are the results for this test and the graph showing the results.

 Temperature Number of (degrees Celsius) bounces 0 1 10 1 20 2 30 3 40 4 50 5 60 6 70 8 80 9 90 10 100 12

Conclusion

The apparatus worked very well and the results I gained agreed somewhat with my hypothesis and preliminary testing. Below are the results I obtained and a graph showing the temperature against the compression;

 Temperature Change in diameter (degrees Celsius) compressed with 40N (mm) 0 16.0 10 15.0 20 15.0 30 15.0 40 14.0 50 14.0 60 14.0 70 13.5 80 11.0 90 11.0 100 10.0

Results:

From examining the graph, we can see similarities between it and the graph showing temperature against diameter. Notice the way the graph gets steeper and then flattens and towards the higher temperatures becomes more exaggerated. This shows a connection between this graph and that of the diameter change graph.

Conclusion:

From conducting this investigation I have learnt a number of things (mainly about squash balls!!) Throughout I have been cooling and heating the squash ball to temperature beyond what it was ever really designed to cope with, which undoubtedly will put unwanted stress and cause deformation of the bal over time, and this factor had been taken into account, I have heated and cooled the ball many times and toward the end of the investigation I did notice some slight cracking of the ball and loss of colour. I have found that at higher temperatures;

• The ball has a higher internal pressure
• Increased diameter.
• Has greater kinetic energy and therefore bounces higher.
• Passes its elastic limit at around 60ºc.

In reality, a squash ball would not come under such extremes, however, the purpose of my investigation was to discover factors concerning the elasticity of a squash ball and I feel that I have exhausted all areas of this and have conducted fair and reliable investigation.

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

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