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What does the model show?

A golf ball is dropped onto a wooden floor to produce the classic speed-time graph for a bouncing ball.

Figure 1

Demonstration Instructions

  1. Click on the pause button to start the simulation. Once the ball has come to rest press the pause button to stop the simulation running.
  2. The scales on the graph will have to be adjusted so that meaningful information can be obtained from the graph. Move the cursor over the graph area. Click on the first icon to auto-scale the x-axis and the second icon to auto-scale the y-axis. Right-mouse click on the graph and select 'properties' to bring up the properties pane for the graph. The gridlines on the graph can be altered using the 'Grid appearance' tab in this pane. The settings for these will depend on the results of the particular experiment
  3. It can be clearly seen from the graph that the acceleration of the ball as it descends is constant. This is shown by the fact that the slope of the graph is constant.
  4. The experiment can be repeated for different heights by dragging the golf ball to different starting positions. The graph can be reset using the bottom icon in the graph box.
  5. To reload the model to its starting point, simply press F5 or select 'Reload' from the 'File' menu.