Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Bounce Back - The Pattern of Rebound Heights

Figure from experiment 18 from Real-World Math with Vernier

Introduction

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

y = h{p^x}

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.

Objectives

  • Record the successive maximum heights for a bouncing ball.
  • Model the bounce height data with an exponential function.

Sensors and Equipment

This activity features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Option 1

Option 2

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Real-World Math with Vernier »

Real-World Math with Vernier

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Walk the Line - Straight Line Distance Graphs
2Making Cents of Math: Linear Relationship between Weight and Quantity
3Pool Plunge - Linear Relationship between Water Depth and Pressure
4Funnel Volumes - Volume and Weight
5Keep It Bottled Up - Rates of Pressure Increase
6Mix It Up - Mixing Liquids of Different Temperatures
7Spring Thing - Newton's Second Law
8Stretch It to the Limit - The Linear Force Relation for a Rubber Band
9What Goes Up - Position and Time for a Cart on a Ramp
10That's the Way the Ball Bounces - Height and Time for a Bouncing Ball
11Walk This Way - Definition of Rate
12Velocity Test - Interpreting Graphs
13From Here to There - Applications of the Distance Formula
14Under Pressure - The Inverse Relationship between Pressure and Volume
15Light at A Distance - Distance and Intensity
16Chill Out: How Hot Objects Cool
17Charging Up, Charging Down - Charging a Capacitor
18Bounce Back - The Pattern of Rebound Heights
19Sour Chemistry - The Exponential pH Change
20Swinging Ellipses - Plotting an Ellipse
21Lights Out! - Periodic Phenomena
22Tic, Toc: Pendulum Motion
23Stay Tuned: Sound Waveform Models
24Up And Down: Damped Harmonic Motion
25How Tall? Describing Data with Statistical Plots
26And Now, the Weather - Describing Data with Statistics
27Meet You at the Intersection: Solving a System of Linear Equations
28Titration Curves: An Application of the Logistic Function
29Clock Design: Period and Length of a Simple Pendulum
30Graph It in Pieces: Piecewise Defined Functions
31Stepping to the Greatest Integer: The Greatest Integer Function
32Crawling Around: Parametric Plots

Activity 18 from Real-World Math with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Real-World Math with Vernier</i> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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Dev Reference: VST0338

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