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The aim of this piece of work is to investigate the factors that affect how fast a marble/ball bearing travels once it has travelled down the curtain rail.

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Introduction

Roller Ball Experiment Planning Aim: The aim of this piece of work is to investigate the factors that affect how fast a marble/ball bearing travels once it has travelled down the curtain rail. Factors: There are 5 main factors that affect the speed of the marble/ball bearing once it hits the ground after travelling down a curtain rail. * The surface may well change as it changes from the curtain rail to the floor. It could be smoother or rougher. If it's rougher the ball will slow down its speed quite quick due to friction whereas if it were smoother it would travel a further distance because it will have a higher speed. It will be easier to pass over the surface if it is smooth. * The marble/ball bearing itself could be of importance. Its weight and diameter could affect the speed. The bigger and heavier the ball the shorter the distance it will travel because the speed will be slower than with a small light ball which will travel faster. * Another point would be the height of the beginning of the track from the floor. The higher the track the faster the ball will travel when it comes off the end. However, if the track is very close to the floor the marble/ball bearing will not get very far due to low speed. ...read more.

Middle

In this case it should be 10cm, 20cm, 30cm, 40cm, and 50cm. The times need to be recorded from when the ball leaves the curtain rail to where the 3 metres is finished. All results must be recorded. Preliminary Experiment: In our preliminary experiment we found that Gravitational Potential Energy converts into Kinetic Energy once at the bottom. The marble/ball bearing gradually slowed down as it travelled along the floor. Another thing on the preliminary experiments was that once the ball had fell down the bottom and up the other side of the curtain rail and reversed in couldn't reach the same height as the start because the marble/ball bearing has lost most of its Gravitational Potential Energy and therefore can't turn it into Kinetic Energy anymore. The Obtaining Height from the floor Time Test 1 /secs Time Test 2 /secs Time Test 3 /secs Average Time/secs Speed m/s 2 20.00cm 1.72 1.03 1.65 1.66 1.20 40.00cm 1.13 1.16 1.09 1.12 1.79 60.00cm 0.91 0.85 0.90 0.89 2.25 80.00cm 0.78 0.82 0.81 0.80 2.50 100.00cm 0.47 0.59 0.66 0.57 3.51 Average Time (Secs) = All 20 cm results added / 3 (the number of results) Speed (m/s 2) = 2 metres / average time Analysis Test 1 Test 1 results showed me that the higher the curtain rail at the beginning point the faster the ball bearing/marble travelled over the 2 metres when it came off the curtain rail. ...read more.

Conclusion

They are two totally different surfaces and the floor could have had things on which would have caused more friction than it should have had. Unwanted sticky substances could have stuck onto the equipment, which might have slowed the ball bearing/marble down. However, as well as this the equipment used wasn't scientific enough so the time could have been .seconds out. In the place of this equipment a computer sensor could have been used, so when the ball bearing/marble passes through a strip sensor a stopwatch on the computer stops. It does this for every distance you want it to time for. There could be a few strip sensors on this route. This therefore doesn't need to be tested as many times because it is more thorough and accurate than by a hand stopwatch. These sets of results could be expanded so that the average is more of an exact average because with only three attempts and if one result turns out totally different to the rest the average could cause an anomaly. To improve the accuracy the stopwatch could be put to more decimal places. There could have been more tests at each height to get more of an average. You could use the full equation of Gravitational Potential Energy by weighing the ball bearing/marble before the investigation and putting it into the mass. This will give a more accurate answer that equals the Kinetic Energy. Justine Gray 10.3 Mr Bendall Physics CourseWork ...read more.

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