Potential Energy and Kinetic Energy: Bouncing Golf Balls (page 2)
Energy is constantly being changed from one form to the other. Potential energy, which is stored energy, can be converted into kinetic energy, the energy of motion. During the conversion, some energy may be changed into sound or heat, but the energy is never completely lost. In this activity you will see how potential energy changes to kinetic energy.
- Stand the meter stick on the floor so the ''0'' end touches the floor.
- Hold a golf ball at the 100-centimeter mark of the meter stick. Practice dropping the golf ball straight down and catching it at the highest point of its bounce.
- Once you have mastered this technique, drop the golf ball from the 100-centimeter mark and catch the ball at the maximum height of its first return bounce. Note that height on the meter stick.
- Try this drop from a couple of lower heights as well.
- Did the ball dropped from the 100cm mark bounce back up to the 100cm mark?
- As you reduced the drop height of the golf ball, what happened to the resulting bounce height?
- The bounce height was lower.
Repeat this activity, but this time use a tennis ball or Ping-Pong ball. Compare the results you got from these drops with the results from the golf ball. Speculate on the reasons for the differences in data you obtained.
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