Trolleys And Ramps Essay Research Paper Skill

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Trolleys And Ramps Essay, Research Paper Skill Area P: Planning experimental procedures Introduction A trolley is pushed to the top of a ramp, the summit being 20cm from the ground, and then is released. It rolls all the way down the ramp, of 2 metres, before it collides with the wall at the bottom. A couple of keen scientists thought it would be interesting to record the time taken for the trolley to reach the bottom and then calculate its average speed. They let the trolley fall down the ramp two more times after that, just to make their results more accurate. They also wanted to investigate if the height of the summit made any difference to the average speed, so they raised the ramp to 30cm and pushed the trolley down the ramp again and recorded the time.Basically I have

been asked to act as the two enthusiastic experts and test, as a primary objective, to see if the height of the summit affects the average speed at which the trolley travels down the ramp. Based on my existing scientific knowledge, I know that this experiment depends on a certain type of energy being converted into another type. When the trolley is raised to the top of the ramp, it gains a certain amount of potential energy ? this is converted into kinetic? (movement) energy as the trolley moves down the slope. Too see what factors may affect the way the experiment turns out, it may be useful to look at the formula for potential energy.P.E = mhg (where m=mass, h=height and g=gravity)Obviously, the more potential energy the trolley has got, the faster it will move down the ramp.

So, theoretically, the only factors that can affect this experiment are the height and the mass and the gravity. Since we can only possibly conduct this experiment on Earth, the gravity will always stay constant ? about 10m/s2 (or 9.82m/s2 to be more precise). The only factors left are the variables I will be experimenting with in this investigation· Primary Experiment ? I will be investigating, by varying the height the summit of the ramp is raised off the ground, if the average speed increases or decreases. · Secondary Experiment ? I will be investigating if the average speed changes by adding extra mass to the trolley.There will always be smaller forces that could slightly affect the result, such as friction between the ramp and the trolley?s wheels, and air resistance.

There is no way I can control any of these factors, but they shouldn?t affect the results so much as to give completely anomalous readings for each experiment. Planning When planning my experiment, I will need to take into consideration the following points: · Safety · Fair testing · Equipment · How many results I will take · What range of variables I will experiment withSafety With this straightforward experiment there is not much that needs to be taken into consideration. No harmful substances are being used, neither are flames, solvents, atomic-reactors or insurance salesmen so all-in-all a relatively safe experiment. Obviously we will need to take precautions when increasing the mass of the trolley and make sure that all the weights are securely fixed to it by using

sellotape, string etc. Especially when the trolley reaches high speeds, the likelihood of weights falling off is increased and this could be potentially harmful to an innocent on-looker. Also at the bottom of the ramp some sort of barrier will need to be placed to prevent damage to the trolley as it hurtles off the edge, or to thwart potential harm to any unsuspecting pedestrian/small animal. That?s basically it, the rest is all common sense.Fair Testing As with all scientific experiments, only one variable must be altered at one time. All the rest must remain constant to ensure good sensible results. By using present knowledge, I know that the following factors can affect the outcome and must be controlled: · Height of ramp ? as this is included in the formula for potential