Aim: - To investigate how the height of a runway affects the average speed of a trolley.
Gravitational potential energy is the energy stored in an object as the result of its vertical position (i.e., height). The energy is stored as the result of the gravitational attraction of the Earth for the object. The gravitational potential energy of the heavy ram of a pile driver is dependent on two variables - the mass of the ram and the height to which it is raised. There is a direct relation between gravitational potential energy and the mass of an object; more massive objects have greater gravitational potential energy. There is also a direct relation between gravitational potential energy and the height of an object; the higher that an object is elevated, the greater the gravitational potential energy. These relationships are expressed by the following equation:
Potential Energy= m x g x h
In the above equation, m represents the mass of the object, h represents the height of the object and g represents the acceleration of gravity (approximately 10 m/s/s on Earth).
Kinetic energy is the energy of motion. An object which has motion - whether it be vertical or horizontal motion - has kinetic energy. There are many forms of kinetic energy - vibrational (the energy due to vibrational motion), rotational (the energy due to rotational motion), and transactional (the energy due to motion from one location to another). To keep matters simple, we will focus upon transactional kinetic energy. The amount of transactional kinetic energy (from here on, the phrase kinetic energy will refer to transactional kinetic energy), which an object has, depends upon two variables: the mass (m) of the object and the speed (v) of the object. The following equation is used to represent...