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Speed Of trolley

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Science Physics coursework

What Affects the Speed of a Trolley Running on a Runway?


In this investigation I plan to find out what affects the speed of a trolley rolling over a runway. The speed can be affected in various ways. Below is a list of variables:

  1. Steepness of the runway.
  2. Surface of the runway.
  3. Shape of the trolley (whether it is aero-dynamical or not).
  4. Force exerted on the trolley.

One of these variables above will be used in the experiment in order to see how the speed is affected (Dependant variable). All these variables can affect the speed of the trolley by either speeding or slowing it down. For example: for variable 2, if the surface is rough, friction will slow it down, if the surface is bumpy then the trolley will either slow down or stop. Variable 4, if you exert a bit of force then the trolley will go faster. If you push the trolley it will go faster than not pushing it. In this investigation the Dependant variable is the ‘Steepness of the runway’.


The aim is to find out what affects the speed of the trolley running on a runway.


Variable 1: Steepness of the runway – trolley going downhill

Prediction: When the slope/steepness of the runway is higher the speed of the trolley will be faster.

Potential energy is the reason for the increase of velocity.

When the slope is steeper, the height of the runway increases.

...read more.


Variable 4: Force Exerted

Prediction: More starting force will result in a higher velocity.

Before we saw that the trolley it self has potential energy, but when something extra is added for e.g. a spring, then it’ll help the trolley go faster. This is because the initial force is being increased, so there is a larger initial force, in so making the trolley go faster. You can make the trolley go even faster, to do this you’ll have to compress the spring to its maximum. So again you will be increasing the force, resulting with a larger initial speed and a faster trolley.






Measuring Stick/Tape


In this experiment we plan to find out what affects the speed of a trolley on a runway. The experiment will be carefully carried out, and the steepness will be changed. One end of the ramp will be in contact with the surface while the other end will be heightened. This is so we can make the ramp steeper. The heights used will be: 30cm; 35cm; 40cm; 45cm; and 50cm. The structure of the experiment is shown below:


The length of the ramp will be 2.38m and will not be changed. For safety I’ll ensure that everybody is at a distance from the experiment so there’ll be no accidental injuries.

In order to keep a fair test I’ll make sure that:

...read more.


Although the main idea has been proven anomalous results can still be obtained. To be precise the 1st attempt of the 35cm testing is inaccurate. This is because it is equal to the 1st attempt of height 30cm’s. This is the only anomalous result I have obtained so it cannot pose a huge impact and affect the main idea.

In this investigation we decided to change the gradient of the ramp by varying the height of the ramp. If I were to repeat the investigation I would make sure that the following are included:

1. Extend the ramp to expand my results and get more results which I can conclude on.

2. Also to expand the experiment include more variables and also do a preliminary test to see which is the best trolley to use for the actual experiment.

3. The ramp is cleaned with a cloth after each test so there is no dirt slowing the trolley as it travels down.

4. Also repeat the experiment more than three times for a better overall result. This would ensure reliability even more and again will help spot anomalous results.

Samirul hasan 11P

Mr Saleh

...read more.

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