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

To investigate what affects the speed a trolley a reaches on a runway

Extracts from this document...


To investigate what affects the speed a trolley a reaches on a runway

Background Knowledge:

Potential energy is the energy an object has due to its height.

Change in PE =Weight x Change in height

                           PE =Mgh

Kinetic energy is energy possessed by a moving object.

Kinetic energy =½ x Mass x Speed spuared

                        KE =½mv²

Conservation of energy:

The principle of conservation of energy:

Energy can be changed from one form to another but it cannot be created or destroyed.

Equations of motion:

V  = u+at

S  = ut + ½at²

v² = u² + 2as

u+v=  s

  1. =  t


 The key factors which are likely to affect our investigation are listed below



        Mass of trolley

        The distance the trolley has to travel

We are going to investigate how height affects the speed of the trolley, this is our independent variable. We are going to use physics text books which are 4cm thick to ramp the runway.

...read more.



Trolley with card on top image16.pngimage19.pngimage18.pngimage18.pngimage17.png




Text books   Runway        Light gate connected to the computer which has the easy sense program running.


image34.png        Set up apparatus as shown above        

image34.png        Turn on the computer

image34.png        Clamp light gate to the edge of the runway and turn on the easy sense unit.

image34.png        Start easy sense by going to Start, Programs, Easy Sense then Timing on the computer.

image34.png        Change the settings so that the computer is measuring velocity.

image34.png        Set up a table in Easy sense timing for measuring your results.


...read more.




My conclusion proved my prediction correct as I thought velocity would increase with an increase in height. This happened because as the runway is raised to a greater height the trolley gains more potential energy therefore giving it greater kinetic energy so it travels at a higher velocity.


I think the method used when carrying out our experiment was the best available because it involved us  repeating the measurements three times for each height giving us very reliable results.

There was one result that was at a higher velocity and broke the trend.

I think this might have happened because it might have been accidentally given a push at the top of the runway giving it more PE.

I think the only improvement we could make to the experiment is when releasing the trolley at the top. You could maybe have a barrier which can be raised ti release the car so that it isn’t given any extra force.

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

    As shown, the speed is greater when the height of the ramp is greater, and this is what I can base my prediction upon, as well as scientific knowledge. Equations Average speed= initial speed+final speed (because initial speed =0 - 2 final speed )

  2. My prediction is that as the height of the runway is increased, the velocity ...

    It will increase less each time. To double the velocity, the height will have to be quadrupled. Here are the maximum possible values for the velocity of some runway heights. The actual figures will be smaller, because we do not live in a perfect world. The energy transfer will not be 100% efficient, and there will

  1. Trolley Speed

    This will be kept constant. * The height of the ramp: The greater the gradient, the faster the trolley will move down the ramp because it will be steeper. The lower the gradient, the slower the trolley will travel. This is because the forces of friction and gravity are unbalanced resulting in the trolley to move.

  2. An investigation into factors that effect the braking distance of a trolley

    Both potential energy (mgh) and kinetic energy (1/2mv2) are affected by height of the trolley, if it is increased then so are the potential energy and the kinetic energy. This means that if the kinetic energy is greater, then an equal breaking force being applied in each case will take

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

    Diagram of Apparatus 5. Once the apparatus is set up like this, we will switch the Ticker Tape Timer on and release the trolley so that it can accelerate down the ramp. I will measure its speed from the very point it starts for two metres.


    * I will try to push the ball with the same force each time * I will use the same books to hold my ramp up each time to ensure that less errors are made * I will calculate the angle of the ramp so I can check that as the height increases so does the angle.

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

    It is the velocity of the car at the bottom of the ramp that is important because at this point there would have been no potential energy. So if I find the greatest velocity, it will allow me to calculate the greatest amount of kinetic energy in the system, therefore permitting me to analyse the transfer from GPE to KE.

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

    The ticker timer and tape were set up as in the previous investigation. 3. The trolley was released at the top of the ramp and stopped when it had passed 1 metre on the flat ramp. 4. The tape was measured as before and the number of dots recorded as in the first section of the experiment.

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