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To Investigate a Single Factor that Affects the Speed of an Object at the End of a Runway

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Introduction

Charlotte Bell 11A

To Investigate a Single Factor that Affects the Speed of an Object at the End of a Runway

Introduction

As part of the physics GCSE coursework I have been asked to investigate a single factor that affects the speed of an object at the end of a runway. To do this I will measure how long it takes for trolley, ping-pong ball or marble to travel a set distance down a runway, which will be raised to different heights, which will be the variable.

Aim:

To investigate a single factor that affects the speed of an object at the end of a runway.

Prediction

I predict that the greater the height of the ramp the faster the speed of the object will be at the end of the ramp. Scientific knowledge tell us that this is because at the top of the ramp the ball or trolley has greater gravitational potential energy (gravitational potential energy is stored energy that can be converted into a different energy or “given out” if the object falls down), which is then converted to kinetic energy when the object starts to move. This is because energy cannot be used up or lost, it can only be converted into different energy.

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Middle

0.48

0.96

2.10

0.20

2.77

2.74

2.80

2.77

0.76

1.52

2.10

0.30

2.25

2.48

2.56

2.43

0.86

1.73

2.10

0.40

2.17

1.02

1.02

1.75

1.20

2.40

2.10

0.50

1.73

1.66

1.69

1.69

1.24

2.49

2.10

Marble

                          Time in seconds it took the object to

                   travel down the ramp

Height (m)

1st Test (secs)

2nd Test (secs)

3rd test (secs)

Average Time (secs)

Average Speed (m/s)

Final Speed (m/s)

Length of runway (m)

0.10

3.63

3.74

3.67

3.68

0.57

1.14

2.10

0.20

2.38

2.43

2.42

2.41

0.87

1.74

2.10

0.30

1.90

2.15

1.99

2.01

1.04

2.09

2.10

0.40

1.50

1.65

1.61

1.59

1.32

2.64

2.10

0.50

1.49

1.47

1.28

1.41

1.49

2.98

2.10

Using these preliminary results, we decided that we would use the object with the greater range of results, which was the ping pong ball.

Method

Apparatus

Ramp,

Ping pong Ball,

Metre rule,

Stop clock,

Way of raising the ramp, i.e. books.

Reasons for using these Apparatus:

Stop clock: we decided to use a digital stop clock, as it would be more accurate than an analogue one, as the readings would be digital.

Metre Rule: Using a metre rule to measure the length of the ramp was more accurate than using, for example and 15cm ruler, as you could measure greater distances at a time instead of moving the ruler.

Step-by-Step

  1. Using the preliminary results, decide which object is going to be used to travel down the ramp (Ping-Pong ball in this case)
  2. Set the ramp up to the first height (0.10m) using a stool and some books if necessary
  3. Use black tape to mark off 2.10m on the ramp.
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Conclusion

Another possible investigation using different apparatus:

Apparatus:

Ramp,

Light sensor attached to a computer,

Object to travel down the runway (ping pong ball, trolley, marble)

A way to raise the ramp.

Step-by-Step

  1. Set the apparatus up as shown in the diagram
  2. Start the object at the first sensor
  3. The computer will record the data from the object travelling down the ramp, and then the experiment should be repeated two more times to try and ensure that an anomaly will not occur, then repeat for the other heights, 0.20m, 0.30m, 0.40m, 0.50m.

You could also use something that would release the ball, to ensure that there is no human error, e.g. if the human accidentally pushed the ball a bit down the ramp, this would make the results unreliable.

Reliability

I believe that this experiment is reliable as all that was possible was done to ensure that anomalies would not occur. We can also assume the experiment is reliable as the results correspond with the prediction.

Other than these possible reasons I can conclude that the experiment was conducted as fairly and accurately as possible with the equipment and conditions that we were operating in and that the results and the data collected are as accurate as possible, however there are ways in which the experiment could have been improved, as shown above.

...read more.

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