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Q & A: friction slowing balls

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Most recent answer: 09/30/2014
Q:
Hello! We conducted a roller coaster experiment the other day. We measured the initial energy of a ball at the top of the track, then measured its final energy (Kinetic) by measuring its speed at the bottom. We did the same with another ball that was lighter than the first. Our results showed that there was more percentage energy loss in the lighter ball than in the heavier one. However, I read online that the heavier ball would experience more losses because it generates more friction. What is true? Are our findings wrong? Can it be that the lighter ball should experience more loses because it has lesser inertia, hence friction and wind resistance is more effective in slowing it down?
- Daniyal Ahmed (age 19)
Pakistan
A:

Yes, your conclusion is just right. We have just answered two questions very closely related to this:

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Mike W.

 

 


(published on 09/30/2014)

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