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Stopping Distance Investigation

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Introduction

Stopping Distance Planning I am investigating how the stopping distance of a car is related to the speed that it is going and how much force is used to stop a car going at a certain speed and for a certain distance. For my experiment I propose to test the distances need for a car travelling at certain speeds, due to Kinetic energy being converted into other types of energy. I could set up a simple apparatus that will be sufficient to take accurate readings from. I will drop a toy car from a ramp that is a set height, then measure the speed at the bottom and measure the distance the car travels. From this I can work out the original gravitational potential energy and the kinetic energy and therefore the energy converted to other types of energy. I predict that the gravitational energy will not equal the kinetic energy because some will be lost to sound, heat and kinetic energy in other directions from the forward direction desired. ...read more.

Middle

I will be modulating this variable in the primary experiment, but it should be constrained to a single height in the secondary experiment. Gravity - the last portion of the formula for potential energy is gravity, which will affect the outcome if it is increased or decreased. The way to maintain this factor is to simply stay on the same planet. Friction - I mentioned that the only factors that should affect the outcome of the experiment would be mass, height and gravity - because they make up the formula for the potential energy. But other factors may use some of this energy when it is being converted into kinetic (movement) energy as the trolley moves down the ramp. The friction between the wheels of the trolley and the surface of the ramp can 'steal� some of the energy used to move the trolley and convert it to heat instead. This can slow down the trolley, but only very slightly. ...read more.

Conclusion

Use a car that loses less friction at moving parts such as axles and make a more streamlined car. 3 The sudden change in direction at the bottom of the ramp. Make a ramp that is curved such as the one in the diagram below. This would gradually change the direction of the car and cause less instant loss of speed. 4 There were anomalous results. Evaluation The results that I got were quite like my predictions, but I cannot make a firm conclusion with them. To make this firm I would have to redo the experiment useing those alterations which are contained in the conclusion. Also I would need a generally more controlled environment. Generally the experiment allowed data to be collected easily. To make a better conclusion I could do the experiment with more accurate equipment when measuring the distance travelled and the time taken. Also I could improve the experiment by changing the texture of the survice that it rolls along. To make even more accurate conclusions, I could record the speed at the bottom of the hill, the distance travelled from the bottom and the height of the hill. ...read more.

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