Investigation into elastic potential energy

Investigation into elastic potential energy
Why and What I hope to achieve:
I believe that the purpose of doing this is to allow me to demonstrate my understanding of Elastic potential energy. And the projectile concepts of the effect of changing potential into kinetic energy and for me to demonstrate my ability to apply elastic potential energy to a scientific investigation.

What am I going to do and what will it prove:

I am going to use an elastic band and release it from different tensions I will then measure how far it ‘flies’.
Doing this will tell me the relationship between force, potential energy and kinetic energy.
I predict that the further I pull the band back the further it will ‘fly’. This is based on the fact that the more tension involved means that the potential energy is greater therefore the kinetic/moving energy will also be greater.


Force to pull the band back. This will be between 3 and 11 Newton’s.


Distance = Speed

Speed = Time

Time = Distance

I also have Equations for epe in my research.


1) Attach an elastic band to the hook on the end of a Newton metre and stretch the band until the Newton metre reads three Newton’s
2) Then Release the band and see how far it flies.
3) Measure using a metre stick how far the band has travelled.
4) Repeat this same test three time in order to gather and average later on.
5) The repeat this test using forces of 5, 7, 9 and 11 Newton’s.
6) Remember to repeat each test on each force three times.

7) Then collect the mean average using the results you received from repeating each of the tests.

Fair Test:

I will make sure this is a fair test by:

? Using the same band each time
? Using the same height at which to release the band
? Repeat each test three times so that we gat a reasonable result and in the case of getting a ‘freak’ result I will repeat that test.
? Same place – Draught’s, heat
? Same angle when band is released

Things to take into account:

? The band will ‘age’ therefore losing some of its elasticity and tension.
? If it didn’t hit the ground it would probably go further.
? Use the same Newton metre and have the same person reading it.
? There might be a breeze of wind of some sort either flowing with the band or against it.
? Temperature of room
? Any possible obstructions or anything else that make effect the general momentum e.g. Doors opening windows being open or shut.
? Angle, position and height you release the band from.


There isn’t much of a danger in doing this experiment except that there will be a lot of people all doing the same thing and with so many bands flying about it could cause a hazard.


? 1 elastic band
? 1 Newton Metre
? 1 Metre stick
? Somewhere to write results

Results Table:

Force the band is pulled to. (N) Test 1Measures in M Test 2Measures in M Test 3Measures in M AverageTo 1 dp

3N 4.10m 4.09m 3.96m 4.5m
5N 5.58m 5.36m 5.30m 5.4m
7N 5.91m 5.80m 5.95m 5.8m
9N 5.73m 6.00m 5.71m 5.8m
11N 7.00m 6.46m 6.82m 6.76m


In conclusion my prediction was correct. The further I pulled the band the further in flew.
The graph proves that there is a positive correlation and it followed a line of best fit which leads me to believe that any other results would follow this trend.


I have not learnt as much as I expected and was disappointed that I couldn’t find that much in my research to support my prediction but I am convinced that if I had more time focus on my research I would have come up with a more precise and detailed prediction. – Relying more on what had found out rather than my general knowledge.

If I repeated the test I would experiment with more bands to see if the correlation in the graph proved continuous in each band.

I would also make use of more variables – Speed, Band type, Place e,g Outside,
Temperature, height, speed over certain distances.

I would also be willing to toy with the idea of experimenting with the band released from a vertical height and Timed and measured over a fixed distance, Including the fact that It would start and finish at the same time and gravity and angle would not be much of an issue.

I am please that my experiment was a success and that my prediction was also accurate but I can’t help but feel that there cou

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