• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To investigate how different forces affect the speed of a trolley across different distances.

Extracts from this document...


Physics Coursework 2002                                                                             Ricky Winborn

Examine the motion of a trolley with different forces



To investigate how different forces affect the speed of a trolley across different distances.


1 x Ramp: approximately 1.2 meters in length

1 x trolley

1 x pulley with clamp

1 x string

1 x wooden board

1 x stopwatch



The weights must be handled with care and must be securely fastened to the trolley so as not to fall off and cause injury.


I am going to set up a board on a table with 0.00 – 1.20 metres marked at every ten centimetres. I am then going to attach weights of 15, 20, 30, 40, and 50grams to the end of the string on the pulley and then attach that to the trolley. I am then going to release the weight on the string and time how long it takes for the trolley to reach the end of the ramp.

...read more.


Factors to control:

The weight

The gradient of the ramp

The trolley

The person timing

The person releasing the trolley and the weight

Factors to vary:

The force (weight on pulley)

The distance


I predict that as the weight on the end of the string is doubled, the time taken is halved across a certain distance. Also, as the distance increases, so will the time taken. Also as the weight increases, so will the speed. This due to as the weight is increased, so is the force pulling the car (GPE). I came to this prediction after looking at some of Isaac Newton’s theories on gravity and forces.

Analysing evidence and drawing conclusions:

The graphs I have drawn clearly show that as the distance the trolley has to travel is increased, so is the time taken.

The graph

...read more.



The experiment went very well and produced some good results that enabled me to draw conclusions and comment on them. Also there were not too many anomalies in the results but had the experiment been done again, I would have tried to obtain less anomalies. I could have timed each run more times and calculate an average to make the test even more fair. We could have used a card and light gate instead of an inaccurate human timing when the trolley crosses the line. We could also have used a data logger to eradicate human error. We could have also done the experiment with more loads to draw more graphs and investigate even further. On the whole, the experiment went well, producing some good results. Also, most importantly, the experiment went safely.

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Forces and Motion section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Forces and Motion essays

  1. The aim of this experiment is to show how different masses attached to a ...

    Friction results from the two surfaces being pressed together closely, causing intermolecular attractive forces between molecules of different surfaces. As such, friction depends upon the nature of the two surfaces and upon the degree to which they are pressed together. PLAN The experiment will be carried out as follows: 1.

  2. In this experiment I aim to find out how the force and mass affect ...

    Ranges and amounts To make this investigation successful, we must choose a sensible range, and amount, of readings to record in order to come up with a useful and informative outcome. For example, in the primary experiment it would be pointless to experiment with heights ranging from 1cm-2cm because the speed difference would be minor.

  1. Trolley Speed

    Make sure you do not stand/sit in front of the ramp because when the trolley is travelling down the ramp with speed and you are in front of it before it reaches a halt the trolley will give you unpleasant plain.

  2. Investigating the Factors Which Affect the Motion of a Trolley Down an Inclined Plane

    Newton's Third Law: "To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction: or, the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts." or more commonly "For every action force, there is an equal and opposite reaction force".

  1. Investigation into factors affecting the speed of a car rolling down a ramp

    This information can be used to find the time taken for the car to roll down the ramp: Time taken (seconds) = No. of dots ? 50 After I have found the time taken for the car to roll down the ramp I can find its average speed, which can be calculated by the equation: Average Speed (m/s)

  2. Approximate Stopping Distances

    The main factor that will affect the thinking distance is the speed the vehicle is travelling at, whatever the speed of the vehicle; the driver will take the same amount of time respond but the faster the car is travelling the further it will go in same amount of time,

  1. Factors Affecting the Speed of a Car after Freewheeling down a Slope

    Prediction: I predict that as the height of the ramp is increased, the speed of the free wheeling trolley will increase. However, the increase will not be a linear one as some energy will be lost through friction in the form of sound and heat.

  2. What affects the acceleration of a trolley down a ramp?

    Another less mathematical way of proving this is to do with gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy. I say in the background information I have included that gravitational potential energy is the energy something has because of its position. Kinetic energy is the energy a body has because of its movement.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work