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

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 20 (4982 words)
Categories: Aim, Car
Downloads: 44
Views: 74

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

HEIGHT WHERE TOY CAR WAS RELEASED

(CM)

STOPPING DISTANCE RESULT 1

(CM SQUARED)

STOPPING DISTANCE RESULT 2

(CM SQUARED)

AVERAGE STOPPING DISTANCE OF TOY CAR

0

0

0

0

1

15.4

17.5

16.45

2

34

36.5

35.25

3

47.2

49

48.1

4

51

55

56

5

68

72.6

70.3

6

87.7

84

85.85

GRAPH

PLEASE LOOK AT FOLLOWING PAGE

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 will always be constant in this investigation, therefore here the G.P.E is dependent on the height of the ramp. I predict that the gravitational energy will not equal the kinetic energy because some will be lost to sound, heat and kinetic energy in other directions from the forward direction desired.

I am doing a graph of stopping distance vs. speed2 because the formula 1/2MV2 = FxD, uses v2. This means that v2 is directly proportional to the distance, which is more useful than just the speed. Therefore I do predict that the stopping distance is proportional to speed2, thus the graph should be a curve and also because there is a relationship that is squared between stopping distance and the toy car’s speed.

METHOD

> Collect al the apparatus needed for the investigation

> Attach a boss to the stand

> Connect ramp to the boss

> Connect light gate to the data logger and set it up so that it would be able to measure the toy car’s speed

> 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 three readings for each height to obtain an average

> Record results in a table and plot a graph

FINAL METHOD

The final method for method for my investigation will be just like the preliminary; however I shall use a psion and a light gate. Basically the light gate will be connected to a psion computer which will record the speed of the toy car down the ramp. A light gate will be held up by the clamp and connected to the psion computer which will be placed at the base of the ramp. A card was attached to the toy car, the main reason for this was to provide the distance for the psion computer to calculate the speed. It will calculate the speed by seeing how long it takes to break the light beam of the light gate. This is the calculation that it is going to carry out:

SPEED = DISTANCE / TIME

SPEED = DISTANCE OF CARD / TIME THAT TOOK CARD TO PASS LIGHT BEAM

This speed will be measured in cm/s, and will be calculated to the nearest centimetre. If we take this into account this is the method:

VARIABLES

In this investigation I shall vary the height of the ramp as this will me help me find out how increasing the height of a ramp affects the stopping distance of a toy car. Also this variable is very easy to do and can give me a good and reliable set of results which I can analyse and thus come to a conclusion if my prediction was right or wrong. The non-variables that will be kept the same are mass of car, gravity; surface of ramp, same car will be used.

VARIABLES

NON – VARIABLES

HEIGHT OF RAMP

SURFACE OF RAMP

GRAVITY

TYPE OF CAR

MASS OF CAR

STARTING POINT ONRAMP

FACTORS WHICH MAY AFFECT STOPPING DISTANCE

There are many factors, which affect the stopping distance of a toy car. There are many factors; here are a few of them:

> Speed of toy car

> Mass of toy car

> Surface that toy car is on

> Height of ramp

> Starting point on ramp

SPEED OF TOY CAR – The greater the speed, the greater the stopping distance. As it has more speed, there will be more kinetic energy exerted onto the toy car which will increase the stopping distance.

MASS OF TOY CAR – If the mass of the toy car was increased then obviously this would affect the stopping distance of the toy car due to the frictional forces. The frictional force will increase if there is a larger mass on the car, i.e putting weights inside the toy car will cause the toy car to have more inertia, therefore making it harder to stop.

SURFACE THAT TOY CAR IS ON – For example if I had the surfaces concrete to gravel to carpet etc, therefore some may cause more friction than others, thus causing the car to slow down faster. In conclusion if the surface that the toy car travelled on was much rougher then normal, it would affect the frictional forces acting upon the surface and the car tyres thus causing the toy car to come to a halt much earlier than normal and thus there would be a shorter stopping distance.

HEIGHT OF RAMP – This is the variable which my investigationation will evolve around. I have predicted that the greater the height of the ramp, the further the stopping distance would be. This is because the higher the ramp, the higher the G.P.E (Gravitational Potential Energy), 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, therefore as the speed will increase so would the stopping distance of the toy car.

STARTING POINT ON RAMP – Starting the toy car from the same place on the ramp is important as the toy car may gain more speed going down the ramp if it isn’t released from the top of the ramp and therefore a speed in the toy car would cause an increase in kinetic energy and therefore would affect the results.

SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION

To investigate whether all of the energy is transferred I can work out the gravitational potential energy (GPE) and the kinetic energy (KE). If they are the same then all of the energy will have been transferred, if the KE is high than the GPE then energy will have been lost and if the GPE is greater than the KE energy will have been gained. This is expressed as the formula

1/2MV2 = FxD.

This is an accurate way of measuring ho much energy is lost, which I predict to happen. The energy lost will be turned into heat energy at points where there is a lot of friction and maybe into sound.

I am doing a graph of stopping distance vs. speed2 is because the formula 1/2MV2 = FxD, uses v2. This means that v2 is directly proportional to the distance, which is more useful than just the speed.

OBTAINING EVIDENCE

SAFETY

Safety is an important aspect in every investigation, even if the investigation seems to be very harmless. This is why I’ll be taking this into consideration.

> I will be working with very heavy apparatus such as the stand and clamp and if I don’t use them appropriately I could seriously hurt someone if it falls on someone or if it hits them.

> The psion and the light are very valuable and thus I should use them to good effect and only for work purpose.

> I will make sure that the boss and clamp are tightened to the stand so that the apparatus doesn’t fall off and hurt somebody.

> I will work in a corner around large space in the middle of a desktop so that the apparatus doesn’t fall over, i.e. make sure that there could be little chance of someone knocking it over.

TIME LIMIT, RANGES, AND AMONUT OF READINGS

There is no set time limit for this investigation however we were advised by the teacher to get it complete preferably within 1 hour as this investigation doesn’t take that long. After I had completed my preliminary results we only gained 2 results to come to gain an average we believed this was insufficient therefore for this final investigation we shall take three readings for each height that we cover so that I can work out the average and therefore iron out any anomalies. The range that we are going to use in this final investigation is 3cm to 10cm. Even though the preliminary results that I assembled I believe there is more to explore and see how the height increased to its maximum potential affect the stopping distance of a toy car.

RESULTS

HEIGHT

(CM)

VELOCITY 1

STOPPING DISTANCE 1

VELOCITY 2

STOPPING DISTANCE 2

VELOCITY 3

STOPPING DISTANCE 3

3

39.8

104.69

39.8

110.5

40.2

111.5

4

43.9

118.77

44.6

119.8

42.3

100.9

5

53.4

119.9

50.9

117.3

46.8

124.3

6

67.3

125.5

58

144

57.1

129

7

74.8

149.7

75.9

142

71.3

143

8

65.4

157

83.7

151.9

178.2

199.58

9

111.1

164.1

105.4

159.4

108.7

163.3

10

129

172.2

138.8

162.1

137.3

183.4

HEIGHT

(CM)

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

AVG INTIAL VELOCITY

AVG STOPPING DISTANCE

39.98

108.90

43.60

113.16

50.37

120.50

60.80

132.83

74.00

144.90

109.10

169.49

108.40

162.27

135.03

172.57

To work out average intial velocity:

Velocity 1 + Velocity 2 + Velocity 3

Number of Readings = 3

To work out average stopping distance

SD 1 + SD2 + SD3

Number of Readings = 3

HEIGHT

(CM)

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

AVG INTIAL VELOCITY2

AVG STOPPING DISTANCE

1594.67

108.90

1900.96

113.16

2536.80

120.50

3696.64

132.83

5476.00

144.90

11902.81

169.49

11750.56

162.27

18234.00

172.57

ANALYSING EVIDENCE

To conclude my first graph basically shows me that as I increase the height of the ramp, the stopping distance for the car also increases. My graph is an upwards curve through the origin, telling me that the stopping distance of the car is directly proportional to the height of the ramp. The fact that the stopping distance increases when the height of the ramp increases could be down to many scientific reasons, one of these is G.P.E. When I change the height of the ramp, I also change the G.P.E along with it. The calculation to work out G.P.E is as follows:

G.P.E =(mass(kg)* g(n/kg))*height(m)

Therefore, if I increase the height, I increase the G.P.E of the car, and if I decrease the height I decrease the G.P.E of the car and so on. If the car has more G.P.E, then it will take longer to stop, as the forces working towards it, will find it more difficult to reduce that energy to bring the car to a halt, therefore increasing the stopping distance of the car.

My second graph also proves that as the speed of the toy car increases so does the stopping distance mainly due to above reason. Also the Kinetic Energy that the car gains as it goes down the ramp makes the car to overcome the frictional forces acting on the car as I have mentioned earlier, thus there will be an increase in stopping distance. My predictions were met successfully , as I predicted that if I increase the height of the ramp, the further the stopping distance would be, this turned out to be true. I had also predicted that the graph would be a curve because stopping distance is proportional to speed2 thus as you are able to witness that there is a relationship that is squared within the stopping distance.

To come to a conclusion, I believe like the rest of my group that we encountered 1 anomalous result, this could have happened due to may reasons other than that the investigation did go smoothly and was a success as I was able to meet my predictions successfully.

EVALUATING EVIDENCE

I found that my investigation was fairly easy to do and was reasonably easy to obtain results. In the preliminary investigation I obtained two results however in this final investigation I obtained three results for each set height and thus it led to give a fairer test, which led to more accurate and reliable results as I would be able to gain an average and iron out any anomalies. I had no difficulties during the investigation as I followed my plan precisely and accurately, this included being aware of the precautions that I had to overcome and keeping the variables controlled, as I successfully achieved this which made my investigation a fair test.

I feel that my results are very good and accurate, as most of the points stick to the curve I drew on the graph, and no results strayed severely of the curve, with one falling slightly off it, but this is nothing major. The results were accurate mainly due to the apparatus that I was given to use in this investigation, this included the light gate and the psion computer. These apparatus helped me to achieve a greater consistency of accurate results as these pieces of technology are more effective than manual methods. The graphs that I drew matched my predictions, i.e. it was a curve and also showing a positive relationship between stopping distance and the speed of the toy car. As I have mentioned I did come across one anomaly, this was when the ramp was 8cm high the average initial velocity was 109.10 and the average stopping distance was 169.49.

This was an anomaly because after the investigation was completed and as my group was analysing the results the results indicated that when the ramp is 8cm high it has a greater average initial velocity and greater average stopping distance than when the ramp is 9cm high, as you can see below (anomalous results highlighted in red). It should have been the other way round because as I have predicted the greater the height of the ramp the greater the stopping distance and velocity and therefore as 9cm is greater than 8cm it should have a grater velocity and stopping distance when the ramp is 9cm high. The main reason for having a greater average stopping distance and average final velocity was because when calculating the average the third reading that I took, it had the highest initial velocity and highest stopping distance out of all the results I had obtained as you are able to see below.

HEIGHT

(CM)

VELOCITY 1

STOPPING DISTANCE 1

VELOCITY 2

STOPPING DISTANCE 2

VELOCITY 3

STOPPING DISTANCE 3

AVG VELOCITY

AVG STOPPING DISTANCE

3

39.8

104.69

39.8

110.5

40.2

111.5

39.98

108.90

4

43.9

118.77

44.6

119.8

42.3

100.9

43.60

113.16

5

53.4

119.9

50.9

117.3

46.8

124.3

50.37

120.50

6

67.3

125.5

58

144

57.1

129

60.80

132.83

7

74.8

149.7

75.9

142

71.3

143

74.00

144.90

8

65.4

157

83.7

151.9

178.2

199.58

109.10

169.49

9

111.1

164.1

105.4

159.4

108.7

163.3

108.40

162.27

10

129

172.2

138.8

162.1

137.3

183.4

135.03

172.57

However this wasn’t to be, overall this anomaly wasn’t anything major and didn’t affect the investigation, but it did change the way the graph looked when I was drawing a graph to show stopping distance of the toy car against initial velocity2 . Therefore the graph would look something like this:

As you are able to see the point disturbs a curve that would have been if it hadn’t been there and it should have fit onto the curve instead of being outside of it.

Also before I started this investigation I had inkling that our group would have some anomalous results as it is part of any investigation that we carry out, no investigation is perfect. There may have been reasons why this anomaly has occurred:

> The height of the ramp wasn’t correct therefore the anomaly may have occurred due to human error.

> It may have not been a fair result, as I mentioned in the fair test the person in my group responsible to release the toy car may have be pushed it accidentally and the toy car it would have gained more kinetic energy and thus the stopping distance would have increased.

> The desktop where my investigation took place could have been bent and therefore it may have increase the speed of the car and thus led to an increase in stopping distance because of an increased force of gravity.

> Also, the person who measured the stopping distance of the toy car measured it with their own judgement and if their vision wasn’t perfect, then they may have measured the results slightly incorrectly.

To make sure that these mistakes don’t happen again a number of improvements can be made if I were to do this investigation again.

> The last result (10cm), was travelling very far, and in a small room, it was difficult to try and avoid crashes which we managed to do however it was just difficult to allow the car to travel without being intercepted by something. We could have improved this by doing our investigation in a larger room, which had more space and less people working in it.

> Even though our group tried hard to set the height of the ramp correctly,. As I was responsible for setting the height of the ramp may have gone slightly over or below the desired height, which I needed, as the metres rulers we slightly worn, and hard to distinguish where the marks were. To improve this I could have used brand new rulers, which may have helped us lot on the readings that we would have taken. Also we could have set up a metre against the ramp, and would adjust it every time we take a different height, this would be much easier than manually doing it, therefore there wouldn’t be so much of human error.

> Sometimes the toy car changed direction when it went of the ramp and thus completely lost its speed and thus the results weren’t noted down, to improve this we could have had a ramp that was curved and thus would have caused less irritation in direction of the toy car.

> I believe more light gates should be set up instead of using metre rulers to measure stopping distance as this is a much more accurate way of measuring, and therefore there would be less human errors.

I feel that I obtained enough results to attain a valid conclusion. I feel I used a large range of results, and 3 repeats all helped make my investigation more accurate and reliable. However more readings could have been take to get an even more precise average and also to find out if the graph will curve off at the end or will continually progress in the manner it is.

FURTHER INVESTIGATION

I could extend this experiment further; I could also use different mass cars to see how that will affect the stooping distance. Furthermore, I can change different variables, e.g. speed of car, surface, aerodynamic ness of the car, etc.

I will draw up a simple plan to investigate how adding weights to a toy car affects its stopping distance.

AIM

The aim of this investigation is to see how adding different amount of weights on the toy car affects the stopping distance.

APPARATUS

> Metre Ruler

> Toy Car

> Boss and Clamp

> Stand

> Weights

> Ramp

PREDICTION

I predict that adding more weights on top of the toy car, causes it to have more inertia, therefore making it harder to stop and thus the stopping distance would increase because of this. Also as the different weights are on top of the toy car the force of gravity will be acting towards the toy car and thus pulling the toy car down making the stopping distance greater.

DIAGRAM

METHOD

> I shall gather the apparatus needed for the experiment and set it up.

> The ramp will be placed on the desk and attached to the stand via the clamp,

> The car will be placed with the front of it on the starting line facing down the ramp.

> The toy car would be released from a fixed height of 5 cm with firstly no weights on it.

> A measurement will be taken when the car gets to the bottom of the ramp.

> I will then add the weights from 25g – 250g intervals of 25g

> For each weight put on the car I will take 6 readings to iron out any anomalies and to get an accurate average.

> If the car goes off the side of the desk or collides with the wall running alongside the desk, the test will be void, and have to be redone.

> I will gather the results and draw a results table and will the plot the results onto a graph to see if my predictions were met.

FAIR TEST

In this investigation I shall alter only one variable and this is changing the mass of the car by adding more weights onto it. 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 weight put on the toy car it would be repeated six times to gain an average stopping distance and so the results are much more reliable.

> 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 that the trolley should go at about the same speed each time.

Cite this essay

The aim of this investigation is to see how changing the height of a ramp affects the stopping distance of a toy car. (2020, Jun 01). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/aim-investigation-see-changing-height-ramp-affects-stopping-distance-toy-car-new-essay

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