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Investigation is to see how changing the height of a ramp affects the stopping distance of a toy car.

Extracts from this document...







The aim of this investigation is to see how changing the height of a ramp affects the stopping distance of a toy car.


  • Metre Ruler
  • Toy Car
  • Boss and Clamp
  • Stand
  • Ruler to measure height of ramp where toy car will be released
  • Ramp



I predict that if I increase the height of the ramp, the further the stopping distance would be. I feel that this is because the higher the ramp, the more G.P.E (gravitational potential energy) it will have. Therefore the more energy it will have, thus increasing the stopping distance of the car as it will take longer for the forces working against the car (i.e. friction etc) to stop it. In our investigation we will not be changing the mass of the car or the gravity as I have mentioned in the fair test, as these two will always be constant in this investigation, therefore here the G.P.E is dependent on the height of the ramp.


  • Collect al the apparatus needed for the investigation
  • Attach a boss to the stand
  • Connect ramp to the boss
  • 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. its stopping distance
  • Place toy car on the ramp and let the car roll down the ramp
  • Take the measurement
  • Take two readings for each height to obtain an average
  • Record results in a table and plot a graph


A carried out this preliminary investigation before I did the real one to get a rough idea of how height does affect the stopping distance of a toy car.

...read more.


2 is because the formula ½MV2 = FxD, uses v2. This means that v2 is directly proportional to the distance, which is more useful than just the speed.



Safety is an important aspect in every investigation, even if the investigation seems to be very harmless. This is why I'll be taking this into consideration.

  • I will be working with very heavy apparatus such as the stand and clamp and if I don’t use them appropriately I could seriously hurt someone if it falls on someone or if it hits them.
  • The psion and the light are very valuable and thus I should use them to good effect and only for work purpose.
  • I will make sure that the boss and clamp are tightened to the stand so that the apparatus doesn’t fall off and hurt somebody.
  • I will work in a corner around large space in the middle of a desktop so that the apparatus doesn’t fall over, i.e. make sure that there could be little chance of someone knocking it over.


There is no set time limit for this investigation however we were advised by the teacher to get it complete preferably within 1 hour as this investigation doesn’t take that long. After I had completed my preliminary results we only gained 2 results to come to gain an average we believed this was insufficient therefore for this final investigation we shall take three readings for each height that we cover so that I can work out the average and therefore iron out any anomalies. The range that we are going to use in this final investigation is 3cm to 10cm.

...read more.


I will use the same toy car, this is because if I used a different car for each height the mass of the toy cars will be different and may affect the stopping distance. Also if the toy car was changed for each height the frictional forces acting upon the car will be different and thus it may affect the stopping distance of the toy car.I will use the same ramp, because if the ramp were different it could affect the speed of the car at which it is travelling at. The toy car won’t be pushed it will just be released, if I  do push the car it will gain more kinetic energy and thus the stopping distance will increase and the test won’t be fair.For each weight put on the toy car it would be repeated six times to gain an average stopping distance and so the results are much more reliable.This investigation involves gravitational potential energy therefore to maintain the outcome of the result that gravity must be the same and therefore to maintain this we have to stay on the same planet as gravity on Earth is 10 m/s squaredThe gradient of the ramp should be kept the same so that the trolley should go at about the same speed each time.


This is a model results table of how the results will be stored.

weiht put on trolley


Stopping distance of toy car



Stopping distance of toy car



Stopping distance of toy car



Stopping distance of toy car



Stopping distance of toy car



Stopping distance of toy car



Average Stopping Distance












...read more.

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