what happens to the energy in a boucing ball

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17-03-05                Science genral coursework

In my science general coursework I will be answering the question “What happens to the energy in a bouncing ball?”

We all know that when we drop a ball from a height it wont bounce back to the original drop point, but do you know why? This must mean that the amount of energy it started off with is lowered. Where does that energy go?

These are all the questions I will be answering by using sources such as textbooks and notes, the marking grid, books in library and the internet.


My method for collecting data was very simple. I used two one metre rulers and a tennis ball! By dropping the ball from a range different heights I could put the data into a graph and see if there was a relationship.

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To make it a fair test I used the same ball on the same surface and whether it was dropped from the top of the ball or the bottom of the ball. It is very easy to make mistakes on such an experiment, it is all done by eye and reaction times so it is not the most precise of methods. To make my data more precise and reliable I carried out the test 4 times and erased any anomalies in my data. Then I averaged the data to get a reasonably accurate graph which showed a visible relationship.

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