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

Determining how the height of release affects the velocity of a basketball

Extracts from this document...


Akash Singh                2/15/2011

Physics SL                 Mrs. Trumic

Determining how the height of release affects the velocity of a basketball

Introduction: Velocity can be measured by the formulae of displacement over time. In this experiment we shall see how different heights of release for a basketball, can affect velocity.

Aim: This experiment is directed in the process of discovering how the changes in the variable of height can have an effect on the velocity of a basketball.


  • 1 Basketball
  • 1 Tape ruler
  • 2 Stop-watches
  • 1 hard flat surfaced object
  • Writing instruments


Independent Variable: Is the height from which the ball is released. We shall perform the experiment in this order of 4 measurements: 30, 60, 90, 120 and 150 cm’s.

Dependent Variable: is relied upon changes from the independent variable, and therefore we can identify it as time. The time it takes for the basketball to hit the ground after release, will change due to changes in the height.

Controlled Variable:

  • The same person releasing the ball
  • Air pressure and wind in the room, so it doesn’t affect the aerodynamics
  • The angle from which the ball is released
  • The basketball: so the mass and dynamics of the ball are the same
  • The same person calculating time with the stopwatch


  1. On a straight wall, use the tape ruler, to mark the following heights of release: 30, 60, 90, 120, 150 cm’s with a marker.
...read more.


Average Time (seconds)

1st trial

2nd trial

3rd trial





28.2 ± 9.0





36 ± 17.0





46.7 ± 15.0





54.8 ± 2.0





56.7 ± 7.0


All figures with more than 3 decimal places are shown to a smaller degree but the memory of calculator was used in calculations for the sake of accuracy.

Here I will show the workings for the processed data summarized in the previous table.

To find the average time:

Sum of readings / no. of readings


To find the average time from a release of 30 cm. You take the sum of the readings, which are the results from trials 1, 2, 3; which gives (37+25.5+22) / 3 = 28.2 seconds.

In order to find the uncertainty for the average time we have to use the following process: You take the average time and then you subtract it by the highest time. Additionally you take the average time and subtract it to the lowest time. You take the highest difference in the results and you add that to the uncertainty of the stopwatch which is 0.0005seconds.


Average: 28.2

Higher Uncertainty = 28.2 – 37 = 8.8

Lower Uncertainty = 28.2 – 22 = 6.2

Uncertainty for time of 30 cm’s = 8.8 + 0.0005 = 8.8005

= 9.0 seconds (1.s.f.)

The next step is to calculate the velocity, which can be found by 2 methods. Graphically or using the formula of velocity. We shall first analyze the graphical method:


Is attached at the back of the lab report.

...read more.


To improve I could maybe get two laser gateways, which self time using a computer, when the basketball is released and when it impacts the ground. This is a much more accurate result.

Due to this large uncertainty because of the synchronization, we should’ve also taken a larger number of data so we could have a more accurate overall average. And maybe, more people doing the stop-watch simultaneously which will allow us a more accurate reading.

Additionally there may also have been parallax error, caused when the ball has to be fixed to the wall at the x height. It may have been not precise.

To improve we could get a flat surface and place it exactly at the height. And then place the ball above it. And when you remove it, the ball falls, pentrating the laser and starting of the counter. Giving is us all in all much more accurate results. Although, this may be expensive to encourage.

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Physics 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 International Baccalaureate Physics essays

  1. Investigate the Size of Craters in Sand Due to Dropped Object.

    = 0.28 + 0.43 + 0.58 + 0.73 + 0.88 + 1.03 6 = 0.66 � 0.05 Evaluation / Discussion: Based on the graph that we obtained, we can say that the height of dropped slotted mass is proportional to the depth of craters.

  2. Physics-investigate the relationship of temperature and the height of the bounce of a squash ...

    ball increased the air inside the ball becomes pressurized which increase the height at which it bounces, the second factor being that the heat causes the rubber to become more stout. Evaluation: I think that the results for my experiment were reliable because I carried out the experiment three times

  1. How does the mass of a spherical object and the height from which it ...

    The units are cm for purposes of readability. Columns 6 and 7 are processed data, generated from the raw measurements of crater depth and width. Graphs: The graphs which compared volume crater depth to the height of the drop were generated using data from each individual object, in order to ensure that mass was kept constant.

  2. In this extended essay, I will be investigating projectile motion via studying the movement ...

    Repeat step 2 to 3 by placing different slotted masses on the spring, say 20g,50g,100g,200g. 5. Tabulate the data and plot a graph of reading of the spring balance against the extension using Mircsoft Excel. Weight of Slotted Mass(N)

  1. design of a variable resistor

    3. There is not any pattern. I only found out that the difference in average resistance between mm and mm is 0.002031997, and the difference in average resistance between mm and mm is 0.003137293, and the difference between the average resistances of 10 cm and 15 cm is 0.011950234, and the difference between the average resistances of 15cm and 20cm is 0.002395406 4.

  2. Fluid Dynamics

    The third force exerted on the ball, drag, is always in the opposite direction of the movement. It is very similar to the friction force on a block sliding down a plane, which works in the opposite direction of the motion.

  1. The purpose of this lab is to examine impact craters. Impact craters occur when ...

    Method Apparatus List Meter-stick 3 Plastic Food Containers Golf Ball Water Metal Caliper Table Clamp Sand Popsicle Stick Scale Graduated Cylinder Procedure 1. Attach the meter-stick to the table clamp with tape so that the height from which the "meteor", in this case a golf ball, is dropped.

  2. HL Physics Revision Notes

    OR Q=âU + W The first law of thermodynamics is a statement of the Law of Conservation of Energy in which the equivalence of work and thermal energy transfer is taken into account Work done in a thermodynamic cycle is the area of the quadrilateral Second Law of Thermodynamics and

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