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We are doing an experiment to see how the efficiency of a squash ball changes, when the heat is changed. We are testing its efficiency by dropping it from a certain height to measure the rebound height.

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Squash Ball Investigation


We are doing an experiment to see how the efficiency of a squash ball changes, when the heat is changed. We are testing its efficiency by dropping it from a certain height to measure the rebound height.

Back Ground Research

When you drop a  squash ball from a certain height, the ball has G.P.E. When it goes down it turns into Kinetic Energy (K.E), and you get a small amount of heat energy when it falls due to friction. When the ball hits the ground the ball deforms and turns into Elasticised potential energy, heat and sound. The ball is squashed along the ground. This causes friction between the ground and the ball. The ball then regains its normal shape. The ball then rebounds up which forms kinetic energy. When the ball has reached its maximum height it turns back into Gravitational potential energy.

Efficiency is Useful energy

                     Instant energy   x 100

Factors that could change the outcome of the experiment

  • The same person drops the ball from the metre stick each time
  • The same colour squash ball is used each time
  • The squash ball is dropped from the same height
  • The surface in which the squash ball bounces on is the same each time.
  • The same person is used to measure the rebound height.
  • The temperature of the ball is the same for each measurement.
  • We have to use the same person each time the ball is dropped because people give different forces when they release the ball.
  • We have to use the same colour squash ball each time because there are different types of squash balls that give different bounces as some are softer than others
  • The squash ball has to be dropped from the same height each time because the higher you drop it from the longer the ball will travel causing it to go faster making greater efficiency, also the higher you drop it from the more air resistance would take effect. This would cause the ball to hit the ground faster, so the more the ball is going to deform causing the efficiency to increase.
  • The surface has to be the same because if it was bounced on a soft surface then some of the force would be absorbed so the bounce would not be as high as if it was a harder surface.
  • The same person has to measure the rebound height each time because people have different reaction times so the recordings would not be as accurate.
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How I am going to record my results.

I am going to heat the squash ball to the temperatures 100ºc, 75ºc, 50ºc, 25ºc and 0ºc. I am going to record each temperature three times; I am going to do the coldest temperature first then work up from there.

Equipment needed

For this experiment I will need:

  • Bunsen Burner
  • Beaker with 200 ml of water
  • Squash Ball
  • Tripod
  • Gauze
  • Thermometer
  • Metre Stick
  • Hard Surface
  • Fire Proof mat
  • 3 People
  • Ice Cubes


  1. Set up the equipment and heat up the water with squash ball in it.
  2. Then take out when it reaches the requires temperature using tongs.
  3. Then get one person to hold the ruler, one person to measure bounce and the other person to drop the squash ball.
  4. Drop the ball from 1 metre.
  5. Record the results into a table. Repeat three times.

To get the temperature to 0ºc we are going to put ice in the beaker before the actual test we did a preliminary experiment. We did this because we were not sure whether we should place the ball in the water before you heat it to the required temperature, or whether you heat the water and put the ball in.

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The method worked reasonably well because I managed to roughly make the temperature of the ball right for every different rebound height. The results were not very accurate because the person measuring the rebound height cant make an accurate reading, as it is too quick, also we were unable to make sure that the temperature of the ball was exactly the same for each bounce. This was because we were not sure how quickly the temperature of the ball would drop. There were no anomalous results as most of the recordings were near enough the same. If I were to do the experiment again I would use three balls and reheat one at a time so I could be certain that the temperature is as accurate as possible. I would then drop one ball then drop the other heated ball etc.. This would mean the ball would be very near to the temperature each time.

If I was to do this experiment again then I would change the experiment by keeping the same temperature but dropping the ball from different heights. I would then be able to make an accurate conclusion for the efficiency of a squash ball.

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