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To investigate into how the height of a ramp affects the speed of a toy car rolled down it.

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Physics Coursework

Toy car investigation


        To investigate into how the height of a ramp affects the speed of a toy car rolled down it.

Background knowledge:

        Using my scientific knowledge, when the car is high up the ramp, it contains Gravitational Potential Energy(GPE), the higher it is, the more energy it has. When you let go the car, all the GPE will change to Kinetic energy, this energy will increase the speed of the car, the more it has, the faster it can go. In theory GPE=KE + friction force X distance. We will ignore the friction force and distance, because it has a constant friction and have the same distance. So that the formula will be:



        I predict that the higher the ramp the faster it will go out the bottom of the ramp. Because the higher the ramp the more Gravitational Potential Energy(GPE), the more GPE the more kinetic energy converted and the car faster it will go. So that as the ramp increases, the velocity will also increase.

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A ramp

A 1m ruler

A toy car

A stopwatch

         First I need to measure the distance from the top of the ramp to the bottom to the ramp. I will measure the distance from the back of the wheel of the car and the mass of the car. I will set the height of the ramp to 50cm and decrease 5cm for each measurement; there will be total 10 readings. I will repeat each rolling experiment 3 times and find out the average time. The experiment will be like that:

Obtaining Evidence

Rolling distance= 1.22m

Car Mass= 123.7g

Gravity= 10m/simage00.png

Height of the ramp (cm)

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        I think I could start the height from the highest of the stand, then I could get more results and this can give me more evidence to support my prediction. And also I can try to use some electronic instrument to measure the time, this will make the measurement very accurate.

I think the results are not enough for each height, I think I should record more times for each height, and I think my the range is not too much, I think its better start from 1M than at 50cm, and decrease the height 5cm each time.


The ramp was not enough, if I use a longer ramp, the timing will be more accurate.

From the graph, we can see that the curve was not curved enough; this is because there are not enough points for me, so my conclusion is not firm. As I said above, I should have a larger range result, then I can plot more points to let me able to draw a better graph.

...read more.

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