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Stopping distances of toy cars travelling down a ramp

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Introduction

Physics Coursework Aim I aim to collect two sets of data in my physics coursework both will observe the stopping distances of toy cars travelling down a ramp. The first will be to see the affect of a change in mass on the car to the stopping distance. The second will observe the affects of the height of the ramp that that the car rolls down. Hypothesis I predict that the mass of the car will not affect the stopping distance as doubling the mass doubles the stopping force which keeps the stopping distance the same. I predict that as the height of the ramp increases so to will the stopping distance increase. This will happen proportionally so if the height doubles the stopping distance will double. Background Formulas: o s = 1/2mv�/F s=stopping distance m=mass v=velocity F=stopping force o fs = mgh s=stopping distance m=mass g=gravitational field h=height f=stopping force Method I will use a clamp, a toy car, a tape measure, a one metre ruler, five 10g weights and some sellotape. ...read more.

Middle

bench was to short as it did not provide enough of a stopping force and I will now do my real experiment on the carpet. Results On Carpet Height/cm Stopping Distance/cm Average Stopping Distance/cm 0 0,0,0 0 2.5 10,9,7 8.7 5 24,26,26 25.3 7.5 38,41,39 39.3 10 69,69,74 70.67 12.5 98,102,100 100 15 139,138,137 128 17.5 144,143,146 144.3 20 151,156,150 152.3 22.5 162,173,172 169 25 178,180,184 180.67 I checked my results for anomalies because I didn't want any of my results to be false. I then circled in red the results which must have been a mistake. The only anomaly I could find was in the mass to stopping distance and as my three measurements taken where all strange, then I have concluded that it must have been maybe at the wrong height or wrong weight. Graphs Analysis The first set of results show the affect of mass on stopping distance. The results show that the mass of the car does not affect the stopping distance in any significant way. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another thing I would use would be a light gate because that would give me more accurate results. It would do this because when the toy car leaves the ramp it is slowed dramatically when its nose hit the floor. The light gates would allow me to measure the speed and using the equation s = 1/2mv�/F I could then prove my theory with more accuracy. A lot of energy was lost when the toy car hit the sides of the ramp so in future I could use a wider ramp to avoid this problem. As my car did not travel a straight line the whole way it would stop my results from being very accurate. I could cover the wheels in ink then using string I could measure the distance exactly however a lot more energy would be lost as the ink would create more friction. Also, by rounding my results up I lost some accuracy. Overall my experiment was not too inaccurate and I feel the results reflect the theory well. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This is a well written report that covers all of the main aspect of the investigation.
1. The report is well structured but needs to have an introduction section.
2. One of the results tables and both graphs are well presented.
3. The analysis section is the strongest section in the report.
4. The evaluation is well written.
5. The method section needs to be restructured and some of the information moved into other sections.
*** (3 stars)

Marked by teacher Luke Smithen 22/05/2013

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