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

Investigating the Percentage Energy Loss When a Ball Bounces

Extracts from this document...


Eva Elks – 11M

Investigating the percentage energy loss when a ball bounces


When an object is lifted up, work is done. Once the object is in the raised position, it has gravitational potential energy. The energy it is has is the same as the work done to get there. When the ball is lifted to the height it will be dropped from it will, therefore, gain gravitational potential energy. This means that when my ball is in the raised position it will have gravitational potential energy. The equation for this is:

Potential energy = Mass x gravity x height

When the ball is dropped this is converted into kinetic energy. The equation for this is:

Kinetic Energy = ½ x mass x velocity2

However, the energy transfer is not perfect. Some of the energy will be wasted as non-useful energy, mainly heat and sound. This means that when the ball bounces upwards again, it will not have as much energy as when it was dropped and will therefore not bounce up to the same height.

...read more.


The size of the balls will effect my results because Force=Pressure x Area so a change in area would also cause a change in force.

The temperature of the ball will effect my results because if there is a higher temperature then the molecules will move at a greater speed and the ball will have more energy causing it to bounce higher.

The surface I drop my ball onto will effect the amount of energy lost because some surfaces, like softer surface, will absorb more energy and cause the ball not to bounce up as high.

To ensure a fair test I will choose one variable to change, and keep the others constant throughout the investigation. There are other variables that could effect the outcome of my investigation, for example gravity. However, gravity is always constant on the earth, and is a force of about 9.8m/s2. This would be too hard for me to change in a classroom situation. I will

...read more.


I will try and drop the balls straight downwards because this will make it easier when I measure the height they bounce up to, as I wont have to move the ruler too much. This will also ensure a fair test, as my results will be more accurate if I am not moving the meter rule, as moving it could mean it is not entirely straight and would cause me to take an inaccurate measurement.

I will not exert any force on the balls as I drop then, because it would be virtually impossible to keep the force constant, and would therefore make my results unreliable.

I will calculate how much energy my balls have using the equation PE = mgh,this will be PE1. I will then drop my ball and record the height it bounces up to. I will then record its potential energy, again using the formula PE = mgh, this will be PE2.

I will then find the percentage of energy they have lost using the formula:

PE2 x 100




...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Electricity and Magnetism 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 GCSE Electricity and Magnetism essays

  1. Investigating the relationship between drop height and bounce height when a ball is dropped.

    53 54 56 54.3 1.8 52 55 53 53.3 2.0 53 53 53 53.0 Key (m) = metres Exp = Experiment (cm) = centimetres (1dp) = 1 decimal place Engy Conv = Energy Conversion (%) = Percent Conclusion Now from the results you can definitely see many factors that need to be taken into consideration.

  2. The Bouncing Ball Experiment

    5400 9600 This shows that my new theory on why the graph is a curve is probably true. These results clearly show that the higher the drop height, and the more energy the ball has to begin with, the more energy that is lost altogether.

  1. how and why temperature affects the bounce of a squash ball

    Such an occurrence means that the bounce height of the ball will be increased. The rubber itself also has more energy, which can be found in the molecules making it up. The energy is expressed by the greater vibration of the molecules, stretching and compressing the springs holding it together (felt as heat).

  2. Does the height a ball is dropped from affect its efficiency?

    This could be improved by dropping the ball two or more times to get a more accurate result. In my main test, my results came out much better with only one anomaly that was only out by a centimetre or two and both tests coincided with my prediction.

  1. 'The Effect of heat on a Squash Ball'.

    As you can see there is an anomalous result of this may be due to misreading the thermometer or the measurements may be incorrect. All my results were interpreted on to graphs Analysis of results From the results of my experiment I drew graphs to show what had been obtained from the experiment more clearly.

  2. Heat loss

    The direction of its movement is vertical in which warm air rises and cool air sinks. The way in which this is done by is that the atoms in a liquid, when heated, move around much faster, colliding with the other atoms and making them have more kinetic energy.

  1. physics of the bouncing ball

    Apparatus * 2 Meter rulers * Hard surface (e.g. tiled floor) * Tennis ball * Ping pong ball * Bouncy ball * Heavy rubber ball and a light rubber ball * Rounder ball * Plastic mesh ball * Weighing balance The diagram below shows how the experiment will be set up Type of ball Tennis Ping pong Bouncy Rubber (heavy Rubber (light)

  2. Find the realtionship between gravitational potential and kinetic energy

    The final velocity of the ball is a dependent variable, as it is expected to change according to the height from which the ball is released. Finally, the mass of the ball does not need to be altered, as it does not relate to the result of the experiment as shown below.

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