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What Factors Affect How High a Ping-Pong Ball Bounces?

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Rebecca Johnson 11TD What Factors Affect How High a Ping-Pong Ball Bounces? Aim-To investigate what factors affect how high a ping-pong ball bounces. Introduction The main factors that will affect how high a ping-pong ball bounces are, * Height of drop * Pressure of air in ball * Type of surface * Mass of ball * Angle of surface * Material of surface * Material of ball * Diameter of ball * Acceleration due to gravity * Temperature of ball I have decided to vary the height from which the ping-pong ball is dropped. Once I have collected all of my results I will work out the amount of GPE for each height using the equation, Gravitational potential energy (J) = mass (Kg) x gravitational field strength (N/Kg) x vertical height (m) GPE = m x g x h The gravitational field strength is always constant at 10m/s2 (or to be precise 9.82 m/s2 ). I will then work out the kinetic energy using the equation, Kinetic energy (J) = 1/2 x mass (Kg) x velocity2 (m/s2) Ke = 1/2 m x v2 Equipment list In order to make the experiment run smoothly I will make an equipment list. ...read more.


Then just before impact the person has only kinetic energy left as the potential energy has all been converted. The diagram below shows all of this information in its simplest form. Using this diagram I can see that: Gravitational Potential Energy = Kinetic Energy Using the diagram and the theory, 'As the height from which the ball is dropped increases, the more potential energy which will be converted into kinetic energy', I can say that the ball will hit the bench faster; therefore less energy will be transformed to sound and heat and consequently the bounce will be bigger. Accordingly I predict that, Increase in the height from which the ball is dropped = Increase in the height of bounce As a result of my prediction I think that my graph will look like this: Results Height of Drop (cm) Height Ball Bounces (cm) Averages (cm) Experiment 1 Experiment 2 Experiment 3 Drop no. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 50 37 36 37 36 36 38 36 36 37 36 35 36 37 39 38 37 60 42 42 40 41 42 44 44 43 45 42 45 45 42 44 42 43 70 48 46 ...read more.


The results could have also been affected slightly, because there could have been a crack on the section of the bench where the ball was dropped. I could varnish the bench next time so that there aren't going to be any cracks that are liable to affect the results next time. The ruler that I used as a marker was not as efficient as using a light beam or a video camera, because by using a light beam I would have been able to read off the readings more accurately and with a video camera I could record the experiment and then use pause to freeze the picture and then read off the values. I could extend my investigation further by doing the experiment again, under exactly the same conditions, but this time I would investigate how a different mass of ping-pong ball affects how high it bounces. Even though I haven't varied the mass in this present experiment, by doing this extended investigation I can determine how mass may be another major factor, which might affect how high a ping-pong ball bounces. Accordingly I can progress further in this area of physics and this will help me in my understanding of this subject. ...read more.

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