# Rolling Balls Investigation Essay

1193 words - 5 pages

Rolling Balls InvestigationResearch QuestionHow does the height at which the ball is dropped on the ramp affect the distance travelled horizontally?Independent VariableHeight the ball was dropped from on the ramp (cm)Dependent VariableDistance travelled horizontally from launch point to sand pit (cm)HypothesisI believe that the higher the ball is dropped from on the ramp the further the distance will be from the ramp. I believe this due to the law of the conservation of energy. When the ball is dropped from the different heights on the ramp there will be a greater amount of gravitational potential energy higher up the ramp from a distance of 97cm for example than there will be from a distance of 49cm. This can be proven by the formula for gravitational potential energy: mass (g) x gravitational field strength (N/kg) x height (m). For this experiment the mass and the gravitational field strength will stay the same this therefore meaning the higher the ball is released the greater the amount of gravitational potential energy.Once the ball is released the gravitational potential energy will change to kinetic energy. The kinetic energy will have the same amount of energy as the initial amount of gravitational potential energy, no energy lost and no energy gained. This therefore means that when the ball is dropped from a higher height the ball bearing will have more kinetic energy therefore meaning it will leave the ramp with more speed which should mean that the ball will travel further away from the ramp and into the sand pit.Based on this scientific explanation I believe that as the height doubles the distance travelled will double to.MethodMark out 97cm from the end of the ramp, continue marking out points at 6cm intervals (91cm, 85cm, 79cm etc.)Place ball on marker point and release the ball bearing without pushing itMark out how far the ball has travelled from the end of the ramp using a meter ruler, measure from the initial point which the ball lands in the sand pitRepeat step 2 from different heightControl VariablesDiameter of Ball - I will control this variable by using the same ball for each repeat, this will mean that there is the same amount of air resistance on the ball meaning that the ball will not lose or gain speed.Height of Desk - I will control this variable by using the same table for each repeat, this will mean that the ball will not gain or lose energy as if the table is higher or lower it will have a higher or lower gravitational energy at first if the height is changed.Speed of which ball is dropped at - I will control this variable by releasing the ball without pushing it, this variable will be hard to control as it is hard to drop a ball fairly. If this variable is controlled though it will mean that no force will be added to the ball if pushed.Gradient of slope - I will control this variable by using the same ramp for every repeat, this will mean that the ball does not change energies at different points of the ramp.Mass of...

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