# Investigating the Factors Which Affect the Motion of a Trolley Down an Inclined Plane

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Introduction

Science Coursework

INVESTIGATING THE FACTORS WHICH AFFECT THE MOTION OF A TROLLEY DOWN AN INCLINED PLANE

## P L A N

The aim of this investigation is to show how the height of a ramp affects the speed at which a dynamics trolley rolls down it. I also hope to investigate whether the mass of the trolley has any affect on its speed.

## Theory

A force is a pull or push. If you wanted to exert a force on something you could, for example, push it, pull it, twist it, or squeeze it. Five important kinds of force are:

1. Gravitational Forces caused by the pull of the earth on objects

2. Frictional Forces try to stop things moving. They cause the friction or drag which stop objects slipping over each other or sliding past each other.

3. Contact Forces are produced when two objects are pushed together. The contact force from the starting block pushes a sprinter away at the start if a race.

4. Magnetic Forces act on magnetic materials. The magnetic strip in a magnetic door catch pulls the door to the frame and keeps the door closed.

5. Electric Forces act between electric charges. Electric forces (static) sometimes make your hair cling to a plastic comb.

Forces 1 and two will be a major factor when we investigate which factors affect the rate of the trolley's movement.

Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of motion are directly relevant to this investigation, they help to explain why a dynamics trolley would move, stop, accelerate, or decelerate.

1. Newton's First Law: "Every body continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a right line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed on it."

Middle

LENGTH (cm)

BAR SPEED (cm / s)

1

1.3

6.5

2

2.3

11.5

3

3

15

4

3.6

18

5

4

20

6

4.4

22

7

5

25

8

5.4

27

9

6

30

10

6.5

32.5

11

7.5

37.5

12

8

40

13

8.6

43

14

9

45

15

9.5

47.5

16

10

50

17

10.5

52.5

18

10.6

53

19

11.4

57

20

11.5

57.5

21

13.5

67.5

22

13

65

23

13.3

66.5

24

14

70

25

14.6

73

Acceleration:

A = Change in Velocity

Time Taken

A = v – u (final bar speed)

T (number of bars x 0.2)

A = 13.8 = 62.73 cm / sec squared

2.2

Therefore acceleration for height 10cm = 62.73 cm / sec squared

20 cm

BAR | LENGTH (cm) | BAR SPEED (cm / s) |

1 | 2 | 10 |

2 | 4.5 | 22.5 |

3 | 7 | 35 |

4 | 9.2 | 46 |

5 | 11.4 | 57 |

6 | 13.5 | 67.5 |

7 | 15.5 | 77.5 |

8 | 17.6 | 88 |

9 | 20.1 | 100.5 |

10 | 21.9 | 109.5 |

11 | 24.4 | 122 |

12 | 29.3 | 146.5 |

13 | 30.1 | 150.5 |

Acceleration:

A = Change in Velocity

Time Taken

A = v – u (final bar speed)

T (number of bars x 0.2)

A = 150.5 = 57.884615 cm / sec squared

2.6

Therefore acceleration for height 20cm = 57.884615 cm / sec squared

30 cm

BAR | LENGTH (cm) | BAR SPEED (cm / s) |

1 | 3.8 | 19 |

2 | 7.4 | 37 |

3 | 11.1 | 55.5 |

4 | 14.5 | 72.5 |

5 | 18.1 | 90.5 |

6 | 22 | 110 |

7 | 25.7 | 128.5 |

8 | 29 | 145 |

9 | 32.5 | 162.5 |

10 | 38.9 | 194.5 |

Acceleration:

A = Change in Velocity

Time Taken

A = v – u (final bar speed)

T (number of bars x 0.2)

A = 194.5 = 97.25 cm / sec squared

2

Therefore acceleration for height 30cm = 97.25 cm / sec squared

40 cm

BAR | LENGTH (cm) | BAR SPEED (cm / s) |

1 | 6.2 | 31 |

2 | 10.1 | 50.5 |

3 | 16.5 | 82.5 |

4 | 21.9 | 109.5 |

5 | 27.2 | 136 |

6 | 32.9 | 164.5 |

7 | 37.9 | 189.5 |

8 | 41.5 | 207.5 |

Acceleration:

A = Change in Velocity

Time Taken

A = v – u (final bar speed)

T (number of bars x 0.2)

A = 207.5 = 129.6875 cm / sec squared

1.6

Therefore acceleration for height 40cm = 129.6875 cm / sec squared

50 cm

BAR | LENGTH (cm) | BAR SPEED (cm / s) |

1 | 6.3 | 31.5 |

2 | 10.5 | 52.5 |

3 | 18.7 | 93.5 |

4 | 23.4 | 117 |

5 | 29.1 | 145.5 |

6 | 37.7 | 188.5 |

7 | 44.3 | 221.5 |

8 | Only 3 dots | - |

Acceleration:

A = Change in Velocity

Time Taken

A = v – u (final bar speed)

T (number of bars x 0.2)

A = 221.5 = 159.214 cm / sec squared

1.4

Therefore acceleration for height 50cm = 158.214 cm / sec squared

Acceleration of Trolley at five Different Heights

HEIGHT (cm) | ACCELERATION (cm / sec) |

10 | 14.6 |

20 | 57.884615 |

30 | 97.25 |

40 | 129.6875 |

50 | 158.214 |

Conclusion

100

62.727

200

64.09

300

62.727

400

62.5

500

64.77

AVERAGE SPEED RESULTS.

Before using the Ticker Tape Timer I carried out some results on different height with a stop watch, the results are shown below. THESE RESULTS WERE OBTAINED BY USING ONLY A STOP WATCH.

HEIGHT (cm) | DISTANCE TRAVELLED (metres) | TIME 1 | TIME 2 | TIME 3 | AVERAGE |

0 | 2 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 |

10 | 2 | 2.62 | 2.59 | 2.69 | 2.63 |

20 | 2 | 2.09 | 1.99 | 2.03 | 2 |

30 | 2 | 1.90 | 1.69 | 1.72 | 1.77 |

40 | 2 | 1.30 | 1.35 | 1.40 | 1.35 |

50 | 2 | 1.28 | 1.29 | 1.31 | 1.293 |

Height (cm) | Average Speed (cm / s) |

0 | 0 |

10 | 0.76 |

20 | 1 |

30 | 1.12 |

40 | 1.48 |

50 | 1.54 |

PHYSICS

SCIENCE COURSEWORK

Ticker Tape Time

INVESTIGATION

Investigating the Factors Which Affect the Motion of a Trolley Down an Inclined Plane

Imandeep Bansal 11MB

Height of Ramp Variable

Looking at my graph in obtaining evidence I am able to make a conclusion, which proves my prediction correct. That the greater the height, the faster the velocity. However, as the height doubles the velocity does not.

For example, when the height was 10cm the average speed was 62.73cm/second, yet when the ramp was set at an incline of 20cm the velocity was 0.72

My results display that the higher the ramp the faster the velocity of the trolley will be. This is because an object, which is a certain distance above the ground, has gravitational potential energy (GPE), and when the trolley rolls down the ramp, this energy is converted gradually into Kinetic Energy (KE). By the time, the trolley reaches the end of the ramp all the GPE will have converted to KE.

In contrast with my prediction, I think I have been correct by what I said. I predicted that my average speed would be slightly less than the results I plotted on the table due to the friction acting on the trolley, especially when the ramp was suspended at 0.5m. In addition, that my results would not be as far spread out as the height increased and my graph proves this as it does evens out at the end.

Added Mass Variable

Investigating this variable was to ensure that my mathematical equations were right, that mass should make no difference (or little difference, depending on equipment) to the rate at which a trolley travels an inclined plane, the evidence supports my prediction.

This is because

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Forces and Motion section.

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