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Making sense of data - Stopping distances

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Introduction

James Fung                                   14thMarch,2002

Physics coursework --- making sense of data

Stopping distances

Introduction:

In this coursework, I didn’t carry out the experiment because we are meant to use the results provided from the teacher to do an analysis. And my coursework is about the stopping distance of a small ball bearing on a carpet after rolling down from a runway with various distances. First, the ball was placed at 100mm up slope and allowed to fall. When it reached the carpet, the carpet caused deceleration to the ball, so after a certain distance, it stopped. Then, the procedure was repeated for 3 times to get an average result of the stopping distance. Next the ball was placed at 200mm, 300mm . . . 800

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Middle

Distance up slope (d) /mm

Stopping distance 1 /mm

Stopping distance 2 /mm

Stopping distance 3 /mm

Average stopping distance (s) /mm

100

154

154

155

154.3

200

342

344

344

343.3

300

464

472

464

466.7

400

563

572

573

569.3

500

667

687

690

681.3

600

817

830

835

827.3

700

930

940

940

936.7

800

1100

1095

1100

1098.3

image11.png

Using simple geometry, I can work out the corresponding height of a particular distance up slope.                                              860mmimage10.pngimage09.png

                                        172mm                   d

e.g. When d = 800mm

image12.png = image13.png

              h = 160mm

Distance up slope     (d) /mm

Corresponding height    (h) /mm

Average stopping distance  (s) /mm

100

20

154.3

200

40

343.3

300

60

466.7

400

80

569.3

500

100

681.3

600

120

827.3

700

140

936.7

800

160

1098.3

image14.png

Kinetic energy = image15.pngmv2 (where m is the mass in kg, v is the velocity in ms-1)

Potential energy = mgh (where

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Conclusion

  1. the meter ruler --- the limit of accuracy was = image20.png0.5mm, this is due to the distance apart from each unit of the meter ruler is 1mm and as the data of the stopping distance given, all decimal places have been rounded up
  2. the air resistance --- although the air resistance that acts on the ball when it decelerated on the carpet would be small, it could still have an effect on the rolling ball. However, I have ignored it throughout all my calculation and analysis, so this could have made it inaccurate.
  3. assumption --- during the analysis, I have made two assumption, which is the energy wasn’t lost, all potential energy was converted into kinetic energy, and the deceleration in each case is constant until the ball stopped. This again has affected the result as things are not likely to be as assumed in real life.
  4. friction --- throughout the analysis, I haven’t mentioned about friction at all. As friction is proportional to force, so without taking this into account definitely lead to inaccuracy.

END

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