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This experiment is designed to see if vertical height has anything to do with the speed of a moving vehicle as it rolls down a ramp.

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Introduction

Physics Coursework. Natalie Onions Joseph Whitaker School. Plan: This experiment is designed to see if vertical height has anything to do with the speed of a moving vehicle as it rolls down a ramp. We will put a trolley at the top of a ramp and let go. We will start a stopwatch when it reaches the bottom of the ramp and stop it when the trolley has travelled 2 metres. We will experiment with a variety of different heights to obtain better understanding of our results. I think that this is a very easy and efficient way of doing the experiment, as it doesn't require a lot of space or equipment but it will give us results that will be easy to read and spot a pattern in. Diagram: Equipment: Ramp (To roll trolley down) Trolley (Our "Vehicle") Metre stick (To measure our distances and heights correctly) Stopwatch (To obtain correct times for travelling the 2M distance) Scales (Weigh our trolley) Safety: This experiment can be quite dangerous. To prevent accident or injury whilst doing it, we will make sure that we perform the experiment in a clear space, away from other people so that our trolley does not go anywhere near them. Also, if our trolley does move a little too far, we will make sure that we retrieve it immediately to prevent anyone stepping on it and falling. ...read more.

Middle

I am going to keep these results as they will make good points to compare my final result to. We will perform each part of the experiment 3 times to get an average result to plot onto a graph. Method: Take the ramp and set it up at the first height chosen. Place the trolley on the top pf the ramp. Mark the floor with some string or the metre ruler at your chosen distance. Let the trolley go, without applying and force to it. Simply let it roll down the ramp itself. Start the stopwatch as soon as the trolley leaves the ramp. Stop the stopwatch as soon as the trolley reaches the set distance. Record your result Repeat with the other chosen heights. Fair Test: To ensure that our experiment goes well and that our results are fair, we will use exactly the same trolley for each part of the experiment. If possible, we will perform our experiment in the same place around the room on each day of the experiment. We will also be as accurate as possible with all measurements and times to get the best results. Our equipment will help with this, as they are very reliable sources. Probably the most important element of fair test in this experiment is the distance we use. Each time, we will make sure that the ramp is the same length and the distance between starting and stopping the stopwatch is also the same. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, if we wanted to improve our timing method, we could have used a Motion Gate. We would have placed one end at the bottom of the ramp so that the clock would be started at the exact moment the trolley went past. The other end would need to be placed at the 2 metre mark so that the clock could be stopped at the exact moment the trolley finished the course. This method of timing would have made excellently accurate results that could be reliable to be correct every time. As said in my conclusion, we found 1 result that stood out. Attempt 3 on our highest height. I don't know exactly why this result was so much smaller than our other results. However, as this was our only result that looked different, we left it in our experiment. We had enough information to draw a conclusion and as our results fit in with our prediction I feel that my conclusion is accurate. If I was to re-write my method, I would have liked to use the motion gates instead of the stopwatch to obtain more accuracy ob my results and I would have also liked to have used a lighter trolley aswell so that we could compare our results and see if mass had anything to do with the result. I am glad that we took our preliminary results when we did as it was this that gave us reasonable heights to begin the experiment with. ...read more.

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