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Conservation of Energy

Decent Essays
Cheryce Smith
PHY 211
Lab #7

CONSERVATION OF ENERGY

OBJECTIVE

The purpose of this experiment is to calculate the gravitational potential energy through experimental values, to calculate the theoretical potential energy given the experimental kinetic energy in an isolated system while also using the kinetic energy to find the spring constant, and to compare kinetic energies and potential energies in an isolated system to see if they are equivalent.

METHOD

To calculate the gravitational potential energy through experimental values, we dropped a racquetball from a height of one meter and measured the height at which the ball bounced back up from the ground. These values were used to find the total mechanical energy that was
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Therefore, the initial kinetic energy and the final potential energy should be equivalent. Knowing this, we can solve for the height the ball should have reached knowing the initial kinetic energy.

12mv2= mgh

Because mass is on both sides of the equation, it can be cancelled out, and the kinetic energy needs to be divided by g in order to find the height, in meters, that the ball should have reached at its maximum potential energy.

v22g= h

Now, substituting the average velocity from the short-range experiment into this formula, we can find the height the ball should have reached.

3.3822g= h

h= .58 m

The ball should have reached a height of .58 m at maximum potential energy with short-range settings.

Medium Range:

5.4322g= h

h= 1.50 m

The ball should have reached a height of 1.5 m at maximum potential energy with medium range settings.

Long Range:

7.1422g= h

h= 2.60 m

The ball should have reached a height of 2.6 m at maximum potential energy with the long-range settings.

None of the experimental values showed the ball reaching the height at which maximum potential energy was to have occurred. Every trial measurement fell short of that value (was less than). This would most likely be due to air resistance as it would be acting in the opposite direction of the ball’s path, making the ball’s distance traveled less than what would have been theorized.

Part C: Elastic Potential Energy

To
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