• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Rolling a Car down a ramp.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Rolling a Car down a ramp

PLANNING

When planning my experiment, I will need to take into consideration the following points:

  • Fair testing
  • Equipment
  • How many results I will take
  • What range of variables I will experiment with

I will be investigating, by varying the height the summit of the ramp is raised off the ground, if the average speed increases or decreases.

Method

I have decided to produce a step-by-step guide for each experiment just to ensure that when we actually come to conducting the practical work, it runs flawlessly. This will also help us conduct fairer tests, as we will be following the same set of steps each time we collect a result.

1. Set out equipment as shown in the diagram

2. Ensure the height at the start line (the summit of the ramp) is 10cm using the metre stick

3. Ensure there are no extra weights attached to the trolley

4. Hold the trolley with its front touching the start line

5. Simultaneously start the stop clock and release the trolley (be careful not to push it or exert any extra force on it)

6. Stop the clock when the front of the trolley reaches the finish line

7. Record the time taken for the trolley to reach the finish, next to the relevant height, in a table

8. Repeat from step 4 twice more so you end up with three results for the same height then continue onto step 9

9. Add all these results together and divide the answer by three to obtain the average.

10. Record this average in the table

11.

...read more.

Middle

With these points in mind it is essential that we must keep the same trolley, use the same ramp and keep the mass constant in the experiment. We will also have to keep the length of the runway the same, just so the trolley has enough time to accelerate.

I am keeping these the same because you are only allowed one thing to change for it to be a fair test and if I didn’t keep these the same it wouldn’t be a fair test.

And there was only one thing that I changed each time, which is:

  • The height of the ramp

Equipment

Before we begin, we will need a list of equipment for the experiment to ensure it all runs smoothly:

Trolley - To roll down the ramp

Ramp - For the trolley to roll down

Metre Stick - To measure out 2 metres on the ramp

Chalk - To mark the start and finish lines

Stop Watch - To time the trolley

Barrier (bag) - To stop the trolley flying off the table

Retort Stand  - For the ramp to rest on, to increase the height of the ramp summit to any height

Data Collection Sheet - To record our results on

Stationary - To write our results down with

Below is a diagram of how the equipment will be set up and used.


Diagram

Prediction

The experiment is based on the potential energy at the top of the ramp being converted into kinetic energy at the bottom. Using this theory, we can say:

Potential Energy (at the top) = Kinetic Energy (at the bottom)

...read more.

Conclusion

There were no anomalous results because the results were accurate and well timed so they all lie either on the line of best fit or a bit off it.

If I were to do this experiment again, I would experiment with different surfaces of ramp. Also I would use a trolley than travelled in a straight line! The main problem we found in our experiment was that the trolley kept swaying to the sides, creating a longer journey and most of the time hitting the edge. This also could have been due to uneven floor, so a spirit level may come in handy.

If we had the access to the right equipment, we could drop weights from different heights in a vacuum (i.e. no air resistance), calculate the speed using light gates and see if it produces theoretically perfect results. We could also try eliminating any other opposing forces, such as friction, by polishing surfaces etc. and noticing if this changes the results.

To take the potential/kinetic energy element even further, we could look into elastic potential energy and see if it works on the same principle as gravitational potential energy. A simple experiment, such as pulling a trolley back against an elastic band and letting go to see how far it goes, or what speed it goes at would be of interest. And we could also look into what parameters affect the outcome, such as distance elastic is pulled, weight of trolley, type of surface etc.

All these things would help further our progress in this area of physics and help our understanding of the subject.

...read more.

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

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Forces and Motion essays

  1. Investigate and measure the speed of a ball rolling down a ramp.

    Below is the apparatus that I'm going to use to do the experiment. Apparatus * Ramp that has been graved in a straight line to provide a course for the ball to roll through. (length of ramp is 200cm) * Squash Ball (24.43 grams)

  2. In this experiment I aim to find out how the force and mass affect ...

    Perhaps manually timing the trolley with a stop-watch is not the most accurate way of recording the time taken, but we may find a better alternative when we come to the practical. Why? From this experiment I expect to find out what factors affect the speed of a body when no manual force is applied to them (i.e.

  1. Investigation is to see how changing the height of a ramp affects the stopping ...

    I am doing a graph of stopping distance vs. speed2 is because the formula 1/2MV2 = FxD, uses v2.

  2. Investigation into factors affecting the speed of a car rolling down a ramp

    Gravitational potential energy (GPE) will be present because the car will be starting above the ground. On Earth the force of gravity pulls down on all objects so the GPE would be the force that moves the car. However, as it rolls down the ramp the GPE will decrease because its height off the ground is decreasing.

  1. Investigating the Factors Which Affect the Motion of a Trolley Down an Inclined Plane

    Newton's third law is not directly relevant to my investigation however, it helps me to understand principles of forces, it explains what happens when objects push against each other and collide. On a flat plain a dynamics trolley has three forces acting upon it weight, friction and air resistance however

  2. The experiment consisted of recording the results of a small toy car being allowed ...

    have the horizontal length and the vertical height and can therefore work out the angle the ramp is at. If we take the sin of the angle and multiply it by the mass of the car multiplied by the acceleration due to gravity, we get the total force acting down the ramp due to gravity.

  1. Factors Affecting the Speed of a Car after Freewheeling down a Slope

    The kitchen roll has a larger contact area than the bare wood, which is more likely to affect the speed of the trolley. To ensure that the preliminary and the final investigation were accurate and fair the same runway, ramp, trolley and ticker timer (number 4)

  2. distance travelled by a car at different heights of a ramp.

    * USE THE SAME CAR EACH TIME TO HAVE A FAIR TEST. There are some factors that I kept the same. In order to keep the experiment fair: * The plastic car.(because the variety in cars might effect the distance it travels.)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work