When a ball bounces up and down on a flat surface, the maximum height it reaches decreases from bounce to bounce. In fact, the maximum height decreases in a very predictable way for most types of balls. The relationship between the maximum height attained by the ball on a given bounce (which we will call the rebound height) and number of bounces that have occurred since the ball was released is an exponential
where y represents the rebound height, x represents the bounce number, h is the release height, and p is a constant that depends on the physical characteristics of the ball used. It’s easy to see where this model comes from: Suppose that the ball is released from height h. Then on each bounce it rebounds to a fraction p of the previous maximum height. After zero, one and two bounces, the ball will attain a maximum height of h, hp, (hp)p = hp2, and so forth. The relation above is generalized for any x number of bounces.
In this exercise, you will collect motion data for a bouncing ball using a Motion Detector. You will then analyze this data to test the model y = hpx.
Record the successive maximum heights for a bouncing ball.
Model the bounce height data with an exponential function.
Sensors and Equipment
This activity requires each of the following Vernier sensors and equipment (unless otherwise noted):
Step-by-step instructions for computer-based data collection
List of materials and equipment
Note: The experiment preview of the computer edition does not include essential teacher information, safety tips, or sample data. Instructions for Logger Pro and other software (such as LabQuest App or TI handheld software, where available) are on the CD that accompanies the book. We strongly recommend that you purchase the book before performing experiments.