# BOUNCE LAB

When a ball bounces on a surface such as the floor, it exhibits a behavior such that successive bounces occur closer and closer together in time, and the height of successive bounces grows smaller and smaller. This same pattern can be seen when a laboratory cart equipped with a spring plunger rolls down an inclined plane and collides with a fixed barrier, or when an air track glider on an incline strikes an elastic barrier.

Four questions come to mind during any of these occurrences, and these furnish the purposes for this lab.

## Purpose

A) What is the mathematical pattern for the motion of your object during any one bounce? How do the various constants relate to the motion of your object?

B) What is the mathematical relationship which matches the heights of the bounces of your object?

C) What is the mathematical relationship which matches the times for subsequent bounces with the number of the bounce?

D) How are the times for the bounces related to the heights of the bounces? Explain.

## Procedure

1. Drop your ball, roll your cart down the incline, or slide your glider down the airtrack. Record position vs time for multiple bounces (5-8) of the object. Repeat as needed until you get a smooth set of data.
2. Carry out the analysis called for in (A) above.
3. Carry out the analysis called for in (B), (C) or (D) above, as directed for your group.
4. Repeat the experiment, varying either the ball, the surface onto which the ball is dropped, the angle of the incline, or the mass of the cart (glider) as is reasonable for your group.

## Report

Each group will prepare a written report in the form below:

Title Page

• People in the group
• The class section, date, etc.

Procedure

A short description of the experiment you conducted, including a labeled diagram.

Graphs & Calculations

• Original graphs of the motion must be shown.
• Sample calculations used to produce subsequent graphs should be shown.
• Data tables for calculated graphs should be included.
• Graphs used in your analysis should be shown, and the results clearly indicated.

Discussion of Results, Analysis & Conclusions