# Physics Coursework &#150; Making Sense of Data.

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Introduction

PHYSICS COURSEWORK – MAKING SENSE OF DATA

THE TASK:

The task for this data analysis coursework is to ascertain and analyse a set of data on a

given experiment using the experience and knowledge built up during the course. The

experiment itself is based on bouncing balls. The experiment consisted of dropping a rubber

ball onto a large glass tile and then video taping its subsequent bounces through the air. We

then fed the footage into a computer software package (Multi media motion) which we then

used to track a particular point on the ball and as a result get a full set of x and y co-

ordinates. The program works these out using a scale which is placed in the footage so that

the frames height and width can be calculated.

Diagram of apparatus:

I will be trying to find out if the same proportion of energy is lost per bounce or if it differs

with height. The raw results are in the appendix.

The proportional relationship between the energy lost per bounce can be calculated at either

the top or the bottom of each bounce at a point where the energy is either completely kinetic

(just before impact) or all potential (at the top of each cycle).

Middle

below:

This has cancelled down to just H because M and G are just constants in this case which

means that and when divided by each other than simply cancel out to form 1.

I have now taken my raw data and made a table of all of the peaks, shown below:

PEAK NUMBER

Y COORDINATE / METRES

PEAK

0.573

PEAK

0.488

PEAK

0.413

PEAK

0.356

PEAK

0.306

PEAK

0.242

I must now work out p / p to find out what proportion of the original height the ball will

reach.

PEAK NUMBER

Y /

METRES

% OF ORIGNAL

BOUNCE HEIGHT

PEAK

0.573

-----------------

PEAK

0.488

85.1657941

PEAK

0.413

84.6311475

PEAK

0.356

86.1985472

PEAK

0.306

85.9550562

PEAK

0.242

79.0849673

This table highlights that the % of the previous bounce height reached by the ball is on

average round about 85.49% (2d.p) when excluding the peak six result. This result is over

6% of the mean of the other numbers which would indicate that it is an anomalous result, If it

were to be included in the mean it would lower the result to 84.21% (2d.p). If I had more

time it would be nice to get some more results from the same experiment to find out if this

Conclusion

bounce irrelevant of height. I can say that this is a constant of around 85.5% for this

material.

I can say this because I have carefully analysed the data and its limitations for example, I

did not have enough readings at the base of the bounce to properly analyse the velocity to

find out the kinetic energy. So instead I worked the result out using the 1potential energy at

the apex of the curve. I also worked out which and why certain bits of data proved to be

anomalous.

With more results I could have got a more exact figure for this material but I feel that The

results which I do have indicate towards the correct figure and are on the whole consistent

despite the limitations of the video footage.

After looking on the internet I have found the results for glass on glass and the return height

for this is 96%, with steel on glass this result is 90%. This result is interesting because it

shows how much more energy is lost from a rubber ball that glass or steel.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

source: ADVANCING PHYSICS

Author: Edited by Jon Ogborn and Mary Whitehouse

Published: 2nd Edition 2001

Publisher: Institute Of Physics Publishing’s

Source: www.exploratorium.edu/baseball/bouncing_balls.html

Author: Paul Doherty

Published: 1997

Source: www.phys.hawaii.edu/~teb/java/ntnujava/bouncingBall/bouncingBall.html

Author: Gfu-Kwun Hwang

Published 1997

APPENDIX

RAW DATA DIRECTLY PRINTED FROM MULTIMEDIA MOTION

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

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