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Lab Report " Investigating the Physics of Road Safety

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Lab Report – Investigating the Physics of Road Safety

Aim – Investigate how the speed of the trolley affects the stopping distance.

Hypothesis – If the speed of the trolley is increased, then the block will travel a further distance meaning that the stopping distance is longer.


MV: Speed (Slope)

RV: Stopping distance (of the wood block)

CV: Ramp, trolley, wooden block, books


  • Ramp
  • Trolley
  • Books (to change the slope)
  • Wooden block


Abstract:In this experiment, the slope of the ramp will be changed to increase the speed to then investigate how the speed affects the stopping distance of the wooden block.


- Firstly, place two books (2cm width each book) under the top part of the ramp.

- Then place the wooden block at the end of the ramp and make sure to have the meter stick ready to measure.  

- To launch the trolley, place the trolley at the elevated part of the ramp and let go.

...read more.


            PE = mass (N) x gravity (10) x height (m)         

1. PE = 0.8.15 x 10 x 0.02m = 0.163J

2. PE = 0.8.15 x 10 x 0.04m = 0.326J

3. PE = 0.8.15 x 10 x 0.06m = 0.489J

4. PE = 0.8.15 x 10 x 0.08 = 0.652J

5. PE = 0.815 x 10 x 0.1 = 0.815J

6. PE = 0.8.15 x 10 x 0.12 = 0.978J

Height of Ramp (m)

P.E (J)













After that we calculated the velocity of the trolley by rearranging the Kinetic Energy (KE) formula:




For all of the different heights, we calculated the velocity.

1. image09.pngm/s

2. image10.pngm/s

3. image11.pngm/s

4. image12.pngm/s

5. image13.pngm/s

6. image01.pngm/s

Height of Ramp (m)

Velocity (m/s)













...read more.


        In conclusion, the hypothesis which said that as the speed of the trolley increases, the stopping distance would also increase was proven to be true.  The data I collected showed that the potential energy increased from 0.163J to 0.978J as the height of the slope was increased.  As the potential energy increased, the force at which the trolley was hitting the wooden block was greater meaning that the kinetic energy was larger which made the stopping distance of the trolley increase.

...read more.

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