# Physics Project Ideas

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Showing 1 - 5 of 24 Project Ideas
Bouncing Balls: Why Is the Rebound Rating < 1? *
Bouncing Balls: Why Is the Rebound Rating < 1?
 Difficulty Time Required Short (2-5 days) Prerequisites Material Availability Cost Safety

This implies that not all of the potential energy is converted to the kinetic energy of the bounce. But conservation of energy requires that the energy must be the same before and after the ball is dropped? Where does the energy go? Bounce a ball 100 times, then hold it in your hand. In your other hand hold a ball that wasn't bounced. What is the difference? (See: Goodstein, 1999, pp. 22β23.) Read more
Distance and Speed of Rolling Objects Measured from Video Recordings
Distance and Speed of Rolling Objects Measured from Video Recordings
 Difficulty Time Required Short (2-5 days) Prerequisites None Material Availability Readily available Cost Low (\$20 - \$50) Safety No issues

This project is an experiment in classical physics. You'll be following in Galileo's footsteps, and investigating Newton's laws of motion, but you'll be taking advantage of modern video recording technology to make your measurements. Sure, it's been done before, but if you do it yourself, you can get a firm understanding of these important concepts. Read more
Frequency-Dependent Sound Absorption
Frequency-Dependent Sound Absorption
 Difficulty Time Required Average (6-10 days) Prerequisites Note: Project costs will be lower if you have access to a speaker, amplifier, and CD player. Material Availability Readily available Cost High (\$100 - \$150) Safety No issues

Want to start a garage band, but Mom or Dad won't let you because it will make too much noise? This is a good project for someone who is interested in acoustics and likes to build things. Who knows, it might help you figure out how to make everyone happy. Read more
Golf Clubs, Loft Angle, and Distance: The Science of Hitting *
Golf Clubs, Loft Angle, and Distance: The Science of Hitting
 Difficulty Time Required Long (2-4 weeks) Prerequisites Material Availability Cost Safety

Use a video camera to analyze the angle of lift with different clubs. Measure the distance the ball travels. Be sure to conduct a sufficient number of trials with each club so that your results are consistent. This can also be a great way to work on your swing! (Idea from Goodstein, 1999, pp. 83β85.) Read more
Investigating the 'Mpemba Effect': Can Hot Water Freeze Faster than Cold Water?
Investigating the 'Mpemba Effect': Can Hot Water Freeze Faster than Cold Water?
 Difficulty Time Required Average (6-10 days) Prerequisites Careful attention to the details of your experimental method are required for this project. Material Availability Specialty items Cost Average (\$40 - \$80) Safety Adult supervision recommended for heating water and handling hot water.

This physics project seems like it should have an easy answer. Instead, it turns out to be a great illustration of why it is important to base scientific conclusions on the outcome of controlled experiments. Things don't always turn out as we expect! Read more