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Mass of different balls affecting velocity

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Kien Vu

Mass of different balls effecting velocity.


In this experiment, I am going to relate the mass of different balls with the velocity


My variables are the mass of the balls, the velocity, gravity, height and bouncing surface.

The only dependent variable is the velocity, because it is dependent on the mass of the balls.

The independent variables are height, gravity, bouncing surface and mass of the balls. So to control the independent variable, I try to drop the ball from a constant height. We have gravitation which is a constant (g=9.81ms^2). Bouncing surface is not significance and I will drop the ball on the same surface. Also the mass of the balls will be controlled by changing its mass.

The relation I want to investigate with velocity and mass is relating to momentum. Since momentum of an object is defined as the product of its mass and its velocity (according to what we have learn in class) image01.png. This shows that mass and velocity is proportional with each other.

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Uncertainty +-0.20





















The mass in the balls are measured using a weight. The weight is quite accurate so I estimate the uncertainty to be image13.png0.2. The uncertainty in velocity can be found by finding the difference in the largest and smallest velocity for each ball. Which is 0.38msec-1, 0.27msec-1and 0.30msec-1. The average of these ranges is 0.32, so half the range is image13.png0.16 msec-1. However, this uncertainty is too precise so I would the uncertainty is image13.png0.20 msec-1.

Now I will proceed finding the averages to put the values into a graph.

There is no average for mass, because it is measured with an accurate weight so I will keep the estimated uncertainty of 0.2g.

The average in velocity can be found by using this formula image14.png

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Conclusion and evaluation

To evaluate my result I have to look into the uncertainty and the result. The uncertainty I found was 105% which is very suspicious. It should not be possible, so there has to be reason for this error.

My idea proposed that mass and velocity is proportional to each other. However, my result did not show that proposal. Maybe I should have tried another ball instead of a light ping pong ball of 3 g. This may have influenced the error.

So neglecting my large uncertainty, I found the logarithmic graph to show the best model of the relationship between velocity and mass. Which means my idea of mass and velocity to be proportional is wrong.

To improve my experiment, I could have tried to use more balls with different masses to get a wider data. Maybe I should have measured the velocity of the ball after it bounces and also using a mechanical release to drop the ball.

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