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To investigate how a height of a ramp affects the speed of a trolley which goes down it?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Abdullah Elgayar                    Physics

AIM:

To investigate how a height of a ramp affects the speed of a trolley which goes down it?

Hypothesis:

Potential energy – Is energy in waiting, waiting to be converted to kinetic energy or the maximum energy reclaimable from a system e.g. the trolley at the top of the ramp has the most potential  energy and can be converted into kinetic energy as it is rolling down the ramp.

Kinetic energy –relates to the movement, of an object.

Acceleration – means getting faster, Acceleration = change in velocity (m/s)/ time taken(s). E.g. an acceleration of 2 (m/s)2 means that the velocity increases by 2 m/s every second.

Mass – mass is how heavy an object is, it is measured in Kg.

Gravity – gravity is a force which pulls down objects to the ground when they are in mid air, if the objects are allowed to fall, they will accelerate downwards.

Friction – is the force that tries to stop an object moving and which would have an affect on reducing the maximum Kinetic energy an object has.

(I got this information from a Longman physics GCSE book)

...read more.

Middle

0.40

0.41

0.42

0.41

There are three columns in the time section; this is because I have repeated my experiment three times. Using the formula I can work out the speed of the trolley/car:  

Speed = distance/ time, from the results above I have drawn another table:

Height

Speed (m/s)

Speed2 (m/s)2

 7 CM

0.23 

0.0529

 9 CM

0.44

0.1936

 11 CM

0.56 

0.3136

13 CM

0.61

0.3721

 15 CM

0.65 

0.4225

 17 CM

0.88 

0.7744

 27 CM

1.31

1.7161

 37 CM

1.51

2..2801

 47 CM

1.92

3.6864

57 CM

2.17

4.7089

67 CM

2.43

5.9049

From these results I can now plot two graphs that I expect to see as speed    height, and speed    height.

Does the height of a ramp affect the speed of the trolley which is traveling down it?

Variables:

Here is a list of things what will be changed and the things that will be kept the same in my experiment:

The height of the ramp- I will change the height of the ramp by adding another book to the pile on the floor.

Mass – the mass of the trolley will always be constant.

Length of ramp-the ramps length will be kept at 1 meter.

The speed – I will measure the speed of the car each time the height of the ramp is changed (from 7cm, 11cm, 13cm, 15cm, and 17cm.

Conclusion:

My results:

From my second graph (graph 2 where axis is speed2 / height) you can see that the height is proportional to the speed, as the height increases the speed also increases;

                Therefore height         speed

My results table show;

When I have a ramp height of 7cm the speed of the car is 0.23 m/s. when the height is increased to 9cm the speed increases to 0.44 m/s. This also proves that ‘the height of the ramp is proportional to the speed of the car’, and an increase in height also produces an increase in speed.

When I let the trolley roll down the ramp I heard sounds which came from the trolley. This means that not all the potential energy at the top of the ramp is converted into kinetic energy, some of the potential energy was lost as heat and sound energy. The affect of friction also contributed to this. Using the results from my experiment I can work out the amount of potential energy, how much was converted into potential energy and the amount lost during the process. Therefore, as the height of the ramp increases the potential energy increases.

P.E = MGH:

P.E = m x g x h

Potential energy = mass x acceleration x height of ramp

Therefore;

Potential energy = 0.78 x 10 x m

Potential energy = mass of trolley x acceleration due to gravity x the    

                 Measure in kg                            height of ramp                                                                    

                                                      Measured in meters

Here is my potential energy table:

height (meters)

mass o trolley (kg)

acceleration (Newton’s)

P.E. (joules)

7

0.78

10

54.6

9

0.78

10

70.2

11

0.78

10

85.8

13

0.78

10

101.4

15

0.78

10

117

17

0.78

10

132.6

27

0.78

10

210.6

37

0.78

10

288.6

47

0.78

10

366.6

57

0.78

10

444.6

67

0.78

10

522.6

...read more.

Conclusion

Loss of energy ; heat, and sound when letting the trolley/car down the ramp  If ramp is too steep the trolley/car will topple over.

   ALL THESE PROBLEMS MAY RESULT IN UNRELIABLE RESULTS

Improvements: The only slight improvements that I would do are;

  • Something to read the result accurately rather than a stopwatch e.g. a light gate which measures the speed of the trolley/ramp.
  • A longer ramp, which makes the trolley/car travel a longer distance which will get more accurate results

I can extend the investigation by using a longer ramp e.g. 2 meters and see the differences in between the two, e.g. put both ramps at same a height let a car go down it, then make the ramps height increase 5cm more and put the car down the ramp, and see how the speed of the car differs from the long and short ramp.

  • From my potential energy graph, you can see that the potential energy is proportional to the height, and the more the height the greater the potential energy.
  • From my kinetic energy graph you can see that the kinetic energy is proportional to the height, as the height increases do does the kinetic energy. This is the cause an increase in height which leads to an increase in speed.

...read more.

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