I will then find the size slope in which the trolley travelled the furthest and add weights to it one at a time, I will also measure the distance and time the trolley travels. Fair test I will keep the same trolley, the same slope, the same starting distance, the same surface and the same size books. Prediction I predict that the trolley will travel further on a steeper slope and with the most weights on as there is more potential energy on a high slope and weights on than a flat slope. The more potential energy the trolley has got, the faster it will move down the ramp.
So, theoretically, the only factors that can affect this experiment are the height and the mass and the gravity. Since we can only possibly conduct this experiment on Earth, the gravity will always stay constant. Height of slope / cm Distance / cm Time taken / secs.
I have found from my experiment that the higher the height of the slope the slower it takes the trolley to stop (see graph 1). Also the higher the height of the slope the further the trolley travels (see graph. The further the distance the longer it takes (see graph 3). The number of weights does not affect the distance travelled by the trolley too much (see graph 4). Also the number of weights does not really effect the time taken (see graph 5). In conclusion the height of the slope is the one that affects the distance travelled and the time taken the most.
My prediction was partly right because I predicted that the trolley would travel further and take a longer time to stop. However the second part of my prediction was wrong as I predicted that the weights would affect the speed of the trolley greatly but it did not. Although I do not think that my results were as accurate as they could be mainly because on a couple of occasions the trolley fell off the table (were I did the experiment) and it might have damaged the trolley.
I think the method I used was fine as it got me results that I needed and it partly proved that my prediction was correct. At the beginning I had a problem with the trolley I was given as the wheel was wonky which lead to it falling off the table so I had to start the experiment again. I could make the experiment and results more accurate with more complex apparatus, time it more accurately, use heavier weights (I only used light weights and they did not really make a difference).
To extend this work, we could conduct Galileo type experiments, but take them a step further. Perhaps, if we had the access to the right equipment, we could drop weights from different heights in a vacuum (i. e. no air resistance), calculate the speed using light gates and see if it produces theoretically perfect results. We could also try eliminating any other opposing forces, such as friction, by polishing surfaces etc. and noticing if this changes the results.