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To investigate whether temperature affects the bounce height of a squash ball.

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Physics Coursework Aim: To investigate whether temperature affects the bounce height of a squash ball. Prediction: predict that as temperature increases, the bounce height of a squash ball also increases. This is because increased temperature leads to increased pressure within the ball. A higher pressure leads to a higher bounce height. This is why I predict that a squash ball will bounce higher if it is warmer. A graph showing the pressure of the ball against the temperature of the ball looks like this: so I predict that the bounce height/temperature graph will look like this: Background: A squash ball is filled with air molecules. These are far apart and constantly moving. A higher temperature makes the molecules travel faster due to more kinetic energy. They also hit the inside walls of the squash ball harder and more often. This causes higher and increasing pressure inside the squash ball, which leads to a greater bounce height. Examining the movement of a smoke cell under a microscope can prove the existence of air molecules. The smoke cell moves with Brownian motion, which is apparently random movement of the cell that indicates that invisible air molecules strike it and cause it to change direction. Kinetic theory states that a low temperature leads to a low pressure, which can be proved by an experiment that measures air pressure at a range of different temperatures. The results : Temperature (�C) ...read more.


8.0 6.0 7.0 2.0 3.0 3.6 2.9 22.0 21.0 21.5 13.4 12.9 14.0 13.4 30.0 29.0 29.5 22.5 21.9 20.4 21.6 40.0 40.0 40 30.0 29.7 30.3 30.0 51.0 50.0 50.5 36.9 38.0 37.2 37.4 59.0 59.0 59.0 46.0 46.4 45.9 46.1 71.0 71.0 71.0 51.4 52.4 51.9 51.9 80.0 78.0 79.0 58.0 58.3 58.7 58.3 How I Ensured Accuracy During the experiment, all measurements were taken from the same place over a short period of time. This ensured that no discrepancies occurred with differences in the surface of the table or the temperature of the room. The same squash ball was used throughout the experiment and dropped from exactly the same height, measured by a meter ruler. The temperature in which the squash ball was submerged was measured frequently using a thermometer, and the ball was submerged in water of the correct temperature for two minutes to ensure it was the temperature required. The temperature of the ball was measured after the experiment and the two repeats, and the start and end readings used to find an average, which takes into account the cooling that took place between readings. The repeat results took place immediately after the original reading - this made sure that conditions that may have affected the reading were the same for the repeats. ...read more.


However, it was difficult to keep some conditions constant, such as the temperature of the squash ball. It was impossible to achieve accurate temperatures at a fixed distance apart and so temperatures were only as close to 20 degrees apart as it was possible to get them. Taking two repeats allowed an accurate average measurement to be found, and also allowed odd results to be noticed, but, between the first and third reading for each temperature, the ball inevitably cooled, which made the readings less accurate because of the differing temperature. For example, the first reading for an average temperature of 29.5 degrees, the bounce height was 22.5cm. The third reading, however, was 20.4 cm; a difference of 2.1cm, which is probably due to the cooling of the ball between readings. The difficulty of maintaining a constant temperature could have been rectified by returning the ball to the water for another 2 minutes in order to return it to the correct temperature. This in itself may have lessened the validity of the experiment, by allowing time for other factors in the experiment - such as background room temperature - to alter. My experiment was quite simple, which made accuracy quite difficult to achieve. The difficulty in reading accurate heights from a metre ruler as the ball bounces makes my results far less accurate than if a better measuring device had been used, such as the use of a motion sensor. ...read more.

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