# Investigation is to see how changing the height of a ramp affects the stopping distance of a toy car.

GCSE PHYSICS COURSEWORK:

INVESTIGATING STOPPING DISTANCE

BY FAHIM TALUKDER 11TS

PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION

AIM

The aim of this investigation is to see how changing the height of a ramp affects the stopping distance of a toy car.

APPARATUS

• Metre Ruler
• Toy Car
• Boss and Clamp
• Stand
• Ruler to measure height of ramp where toy car will be released
• Ramp

DIAGRAM

PREDICTION

I predict that if I increase the height of the ramp, the further the stopping distance would be. I feel that this is because the higher the ramp, the more G.P.E (gravitational potential energy) it will have. Therefore the more energy it will have, thus increasing the stopping distance of the car as it will take longer for the forces working against the car (i.e. friction etc) to stop it. In our investigation we will not be changing the mass of the car or the gravity as I have mentioned in the fair test, as these two will always be constant in this investigation, therefore here the G.P.E is dependent on the height of the ramp.

METHOD

• Collect al the apparatus needed for the investigation
• Attach a boss to the stand
• Connect ramp to the boss
• Lay out a metre ruler starting from the end of the ramp on the desk so that I can measure how far the toy car has travelled, i.e. its stopping distance
• Place toy car on the ramp and let the car roll down the ramp
• Take the measurement
• Take two readings for each height to obtain an average
• Record results in a table and plot a graph

WHY A PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION WAS DONE

A carried out this preliminary investigation before I did the real one to get a rough idea of how height does affect the stopping distance of a toy car. Also this will help me make a clear prediction of what I think will happen in the final investigation. In this preliminary investigation the range of heights that I am going to use is from 3cm to 8cm. Two readings were taken for each height and then an average was calculated for stopping distance of the toy car. I do predict in this preliminary investigation just like the final investigation that if I increase the height of the ramp the stopping distance of the toy car will be greater.

RESULTS

GRAPH

ANALYSIS OF RESULTS

From the graph which has been drawn, it has given me useful information. My graph basically shows me that as I increase the height of the ramp, the stopping distance for the car also increases. You are clearly able to see that my graph has produced two anomalous results as they are outside the line of best fit, whereas the rest of the points are quite close to the line of best fit. This may have happened because of human error or other circumstances. As this is my preliminary investigation I will try my best to avoid any anomalies in my final investigation because of human error for example, it the toy car is pushed rather then released I would ignore the outcome of this and would repeat it until I gain a sensible result.

CONCLUSION

Overall I found out that my investigation was fairly easy to do and was reasonably easy to obtain results. I feel that my results are quite accurate, as most of the points stick to the best-fit line I drew on the graph, and no results strayed severely of the line, with two falling slightly off it, but this is nothing major. There are many things that could have led to our results being inaccurate and unreliable. My prediction was right as I predicted that, ‘if I increase the height of the ramp, the further the stopping distance would be.’ To improve this investigation my group could have tried hard to set the height of the ramp correctly the person measuring the height may have gone slightly over or below the desired height, which we needed, as the metres rulers were slightly worn, and hard to distinguish where the marks were. To improve this we could have used brand new rulers, which may have helped a lot on the readings I would have taken. Also I believe I could have taken more readings to gain a more reliable average. Therefore in my final investigation I shall take three readings.

GCSE PHYSICS COURSEWORK:

INVESTIGATING STOPPING DISTANCE

FINAL INVESTIGATION

AIM

The aim of this investigation is to see how changing the height of a ramp affects the stopping distance of a toy car.

APPARATUS

• Metre Ruler
• Toy Car
• Boss and Clamp
• Stand
• Ruler to measure height of ramp where toy car will be released
• Ramp
• Light Gate
• Data Logger –Psion Computer

DIAGRAM

FAIR TEST

In this investigation I shall alter only one variable and this is the height of the ramp other than that all the other factors that are involved in this investigation must be controlled.

• The desktop where my investigation will be taking place should be straight therefore it won’t affect the results of the investigation as a bent desktop may increase the speed of the car and thus would eventually lead to an increase in stopping distance.
• I will use the same toy car, this is because if I used a different car for each height the mass of the toy cars will be different and may affect the stopping distance. Also if the toy car was changed for each height the frictional forces acting upon the car will be different and thus it may affect the stopping distance of the toy car.
• I will use the same ramp, because if the ramp were different it could affect the speed of the car at which it is travelling at.
• The toy car won’t be pushed it will just be released, if I  do push the car it will gain more kinetic energy and thus the stopping distance will increase and the test won’t be fair.
• For each height it would be repeated three times to gain an average speed and stopping distance and so the results are much more reliable.
• In my group of three that I am working in the same person will be releasing the car, and measuring the car’s stopping distance, this will reduce human error and thus won’t affect the final results as one person may have a different technique by releasing and measuring thus affecting the results.
• This investigation involves gravitational potential energy therefore to maintain the outcome of the result that gravity must be the same and therefore to maintain this we have to stay on the same planet as gravity on Earth is 10 m/s squared
• The gradient of the ramp should be kept the same so the that the trolley should go at about the same speed each time.

PREDCITION

I predict that if I increase the height of the ramp, the further the stopping distance would be. I feel that this is because the higher the ramp, the more G.P.E (gravitational potential energy) it will have. Therefore the more energy it will have, thus increasing the stopping distance of the car as it will take longer for the forces working against the car (i.e. friction etc) to stop it. In our investigation we will not be changing the mass of the car or the gravity as I have mentioned in the fair test, as these two ...