- A moving object may collide, perhaps with another
object on the move or with an obstacle. As it comes to a stop, the
moving object loses its kinetic energy. This energy has to go somewhere.
Energy often goes to the other object which may start moving or change
the energy it receives into heat.
- The student will explore Newton's Second Law of
Motion in relationship to a bouncing ball.
- In Newton's Second Law of Motion the force is defined. When a
force acts on an object, the object accelerates in the direction in which
the force is acting. A force acting on a stationery object starts it
moving. A force acting on a moving object will speed it up, slow it
down, or change the direction in which it is moving. In this activity,
students will experiment with a ball and see what happens when they
bounce the ball on cement and up against a wall.
- 5 minutes.
- 25 minutes.
WORDS TO KNOW:
- Gather balls for the experiment and make sure that you
have a safe cement area, along with a wall where the children can bounce
- kinetic energy
- A moving object often collides with another that is free to move,
like the balls in a game of pool. As one ball strikes another, it sets
the other ball rolling. The first ball transfers kinetic energy to the
second ball, which starts to move. It may transfer all its energy, so
that the first ball comes to a stop. The second ball then moves off at
the same speed as the first ball. If the first ball transfers only part
of its energy, both balls continue to move at a slower speed. Kinetic
energy is the energy of movement. Everything that moves has kinetic
energy because it is moving. When it is moving the amount of kinetic
energy depends on the amount of matter and speed of the moving object.
A collision often results in a bounce. In this case, one or both
of the objects is elastic, like a rubber ball. An elastic object changes
shape when a force acts on it, but regains its shape when the force
stops. The ball changes shape as it strikes the ground. Then it regains
its shape, which causes it to push against the ground and bounce so that
it also regains its kinetic energy.
Not all collisions result in movement. Soft surfaces can absorb
motion so that anything striking the surface stops. The objects in the
collision absorb the kinetic energy of the moving object. The energy
changes into sound (the noise of the collision) and into heat.
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Last modified: Tue Mar 24 15:33:54 PST 1998
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