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Year 10 Science Practical Investigation: Vehicle Physics

Year 10 Science Practical Investigation: Vehicle Physics


Aim
The aim of this investigation is to investigate the relationship between the angle of incline and the
acceleration of a trolley down a ramp.

Year 10 Science Practical Investigation: Vehicle Physics
Background
Displacement is the distance, in metres, between the starting point and the ending point
of an object. It is a vector quantity, and is measured like: 6m . Velocity is the rate at
which the position of an object changes, in metres per second. It is also a vector quantity,
and is measured like 6m/s. Acceleration is the rate at which the velocity of an object
changes, and it is measured like 6m/s
2
. It is a vector quantity.

Year 10 Science Practical Investigation: Vehicle Physics
Hypothesis
If the angle of incline of a ramp is changed, then the acceleration of the trolley being rolled down
it will be affected, because the angle of inclination has a direct correlation to the acceleration of
the trolley, therefore increasing the angle of elevation will increase the trolleys acceleration.

Year 10 Science Practical Investigation: Vehicle Physics
Materials
- 180cm ramp
- jack
- trolley/car
- ticker timer
- ticker tape
- 1m ruler
- power pack

Year 10 Science Practical Investigation: Vehicle Physics
Procedure
1. The ramp was measured with a tape measure.
2. The jack was placed onto a table/surface and raised to an appropriate height with the
jack.
3. A ticker timer was placed on the end (the end above the jack) of the ramp, and connected
to the power pack.
4. The equation


was used to calculate the angle of elevation of the tabletop to the top of the jack.




=



5. The ticker tape was attached to one end of the trolley and then fed through the timer.
6. The trolley was then let down the ramp, just after turning the power pack on.
7. The power pack was turned off when the trolley hit the bottom of the ramp.
8. The ticker tape was taken off of the timer.
9. Steps 4 to 8 were repeated, raising the height of the ramp each time.
10. The ticker tapes were analysed and put into an Excel spreadsheet where further
information/data could be calculated.

Year 10 Science Practical Investigation: Vehicle Physics | Results
TEST 1 - 5.42 - acceleration 0.77m/s
2



0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8
d
i
s
p
l
a
c
e
m
e
n
t

s

(
m
e
t
r
e
s
)

time t (seconds)
test 1 - displacement/time - 5.42
y = 0.5904x + 0.1224
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
1.4
1.6
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4 1.6
v
e
l
o
c
i
t
y

v

(
m
/
s
)

time t (seconds)
test 1 - velocity/time - 5.42
Year 10 Science Practical Investigation: Vehicle Physics | Results
TEST 2 - 8.95 - acceleration 1.25m/s
2



0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4
d
i
s
p
l
a
c
e
m
e
n
t

s

(
m
e
t
r
e
s
)

time t (seconds)
test 2 - displacement/time - 8.95
y = 1.1392x + 0.0326
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
1.4
1.6
1.8
2
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 1.4
v
e
l
o
c
i
t
y

v

(
m
/
s
)

time t (seconds)
test 2 - displacement/time - 8.95
Year 10 Science Practical Investigation: Vehicle Physics | Results
TEST 3 - 10.11 - acceleration 1.86m/s
2



0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2
d
i
s
p
l
a
c
e
m
e
n
t

s

(
m
e
t
r
e
s
)

time t (seconds)
test 3 - displacement/time - 10.11
y = 1.3621x + 0.1133
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2
v
e
l
o
c
i
t
y

v

(
m
/
s
)

time t (seconds)
test 3 - velocity/time - 10.11
Year 10 Science Practical Investigation: Vehicle Physics | Results
TEST 4 12.19 - acceleration 1.32m/s
2



0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2
d
i
s
p
l
a
c
e
m
e
n
t

s

(
m
e
t
r
e
s
)


time t (seconds)
test 4 - displacement/time - 12.19
y = 1.5938x + 0.1131
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2
v
e
l
o
c
i
t
y

v

(
m
/
s
)

time t (seconds)
test 4 - velocity/time - 12.19
Year 10 Science Practical Investigation: Vehicle Physics | Results
TEST 5 - 16.13 - acceleration 2.5m/s
2



0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1
d
i
s
p
l
a
c
e
m
e
n
t

s

(
m
e
t
r
e
s
)

time t (seconds)
test 5 - displacement/time - 16.13
y = 2.1994x + 0.0592
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1
v
e
l
o
c
i
t
y

v

(
m
/
s
)

time t (seconds)
test 5 - velocity/time - 16.13
Year 10 Science Practical Investigation: Vehicle Physics | Results

0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
5 7 9 11 13 15 17
a
c
c
e
l
e
r
a
t
i
o
n

(
m
/
s
2
)

angle (degrees)
final graph - acceleration vs angle
Year 10 Science Practical Investigation: Vehicle Physics
Discussion
The results were as expected, confirming that the angle of incline of a ramp, has a direct
correlation to the acceleration of the trolley. The higher the ramp was raised, the larger the angle
would become, and thus the faster the trolley would accelerate. The data shows this, and confirms
the hypothesis; the higher the angle of elevation, the higher the acceleration. These results seem
reasonable, as it is general knowledge - one would expect a trolley to move faster down a steeper
slope. The result(s) could have been more accurate in terms of accurate measurements. In order
to increase accuracy, more precise measurements could have been taken of the ramps height (in
millimetres, possibly). Another way to improve the fairness of the test would have been to do each
run three or more times; the results accuracy would improve more and more with each extra run.
This suggests possible errors/inaccuracies with the results, and also a way to improve them if a
future test were to be done.
In terms of acceleration results, there was a clear outlier in the results test 4, 12.19. It has an
acceleration much lower than test 3s 1.86m/s
2
, and therefore there is a mistake in the data. This
could be fixed if the test were to be done again, by recording more runs.


Year 10 Science Practical Investigation: Vehicle Physics
Conclusion
In conclusion, changing the height of a jack which is holding up a ramp, thus increasing the angle
of elevation, has a direct effect on the acceleration of an object travelling down it (when the angle
of elevation is increased, so is the acceleration of the object) - as shown by the accelerations of
the trolley, and the graphs - and therefore the hypothesis was supported.