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Homework Help: Affect of Temperature on Squash Balls experiment

  1. Nov 22, 2011 #1
    Hi there :)

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I am currently preparing an experiment for IB physics, and I need some help planning how I'm going to carry it out.

    We were given the topic "Balls and Rubber Bands", and we could choose freely upon the exact research question. I personally chose "How does the increase of temperature affect the bounciness of squash balls". My teacher approved this topic.

    I currently plan to drop 5 different squash balls each time heated to the same, specific temperatures. After having dropped all five balls, I heat them up even more, and repeat the process.

    2. Relevant equations
    None as of yet, I guess some basic maths calculations later on to find rebound height.

    3. The attempt at a solution
    So, here are my questions:
    - What is the safest maximum temperature I should heat them up to without destroying the balls? My best guess was around 50 °C.
    - What is the best method to heat them up without damaging them? My best guess was to use a bunsen burner and heat it from the side.
    - How do I measure the rebound height without using a motion sensor, photoelectric gate, or a laser trigger (according to my teacher, the equipment we have at our school is inadequate)? My best guess was a 1 meter ruler, however I don't see how I would be able to accurately record the rebound height without using technology...

    Any help would be appreciated. Nothing is set in stone as of yet, so I can still change around the experiment if you guys think that it will be a good idea. If you guys don't think that such a research question will yield a good grade, please tell me so. I would prefer if you guys helped me work it out instead of giving a straight answer like other hw help sites do.

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 22, 2011 #2
    Don't try to heat squash balls with a bunsen burner !!!
    Accuracy can be improved by repeating results.... it is not all down to technology
  4. Nov 22, 2011 #3
    Thanks for the quick response technician!
    Ok then, what can I use to heat up the balls, without damaging them?

    Still, the experiment is really innacurate due to the fact that I will have to use my eyes to do the experiment. And I already am using multiple balls, and possibly multiple trials if I have enough time.
  5. Nov 22, 2011 #4
    To help find the height of rebound try to arrange something called a 'fiducial' mark an adjustable stop of some kind that you can gauge the height with.
    What is wrong with heating them in water..... it is OK to heat the water with a bunsen burner.... but care is still needed!!!
  6. Nov 22, 2011 #5
    Great! Now, how do I use this? The only things I could find on google were related to prostate cancer and motion tracking. Sorry for being such a noob :/

    Huh, I thought that water would damage them... BTW, I guess I'll try that.

    Thanks again technician!
  7. Nov 22, 2011 #6
    I hope this has got nothing to do with any kind of cancer!!!!
    If you are using a retort stand you could use a clamp and raise and lower it until you think you have it at the rebound height.... make fine adjustments and you are then comparing the rebound height with a fixed mark..... that is what is meant by a fiducial mark.
    Heating in water will do a lot less damage than heating with a bunsen burner.
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