# NYC ISchool Physics Name: Energy Skate Park - Conservation .

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NYC iSchool PhysicsEnergy Skate Park - Conservation of EnergyName:Date:Energy Skate Park Simulation - Conservation of EnergyPurpose: When Tony Hawk wants to launch himself as high as possible off the half-pipe, how does heachieve this? The skate park is an excellent example of the conservation of energy. The law ofconservation of energy tells us that we can never create or destroy energy, but we can change its form.In this lab, you will analyze energy transfer between gravitational potential energy, kinetic energy, andenergy lost due to collisions or friction (thermal energy) as a skate boarder rides along a track.Instructions: Go to the web address written below, and click the “Run Now” button (simulation will open in a moment.). kate-park-basicsTake some time to play with the simulation. Turn on the ‘Bar Graph,’ ‘Grid,’ and ‘Speed’ options on theright side of the screen. Become familiar with the ‘Reset’ buttons on the right and how to change thespeed of the simulation with the buttons on the bottom.Part I: Introduction(Turn on the ‘Bar Graph,’ ‘Grid,’ and ‘Speed’ options.)Set the skater 2 meters above the ground on the ramp and release him.1. What type of energy does the skater have at the 2 meter mark?2. How high does the skater get on the other end of the ramp?1

3. Explain, in terms of the conservation of energy, why the skater will never go higher than your answerto question 2 at this point.Hit the ‘Reset All’ button.4. If you were to place the skater at the 5 meter mark, how high will the skater go on the other side of thetrack? Try it to confirm your prediction.5. How does the skater’s kinetic energy change as he moves down the ramp?6. How does the skater’s kinetic energy change as he moves up the ramp?7. How does the skater’s potential energy change as he moves down the ramp?8. How does the skater’s potential energy change as he moves up the ramp?9. How does the skater’s total energy change as he moves down the ramp?10. How does the skater’s total energy change as he moves up the ramp?11. Describe the skater’s kinetic energy at the bottom of the ramp.12. Describe the skater’s potential energy at the bottom of the ramp.13. What happens when the skater is dropped onto the ramp from above? (Hint: look at the bar graph.)2

14. What happens to the total energy when the skater is dropped onto the ramp from above? (Again,look at the bar graph.)15. Observe the following situations. Draw the possible bar graphs for the situation shown. Compareyour results with a nearby lab group, AFTER you have completed this section.Top of the ramp, stoppedfor just an instance.Mid-way down the ramp,moving about mid-speed.Bottom of the ramp,zooming past the middle.3/4 of the way down theramp, moving pretty fast.16. Draw where the skater might be based on the bar graphs shown. Compare your results with a nearbylab group, AFTER you have completed this section.3

17. Consider this loopy track. What point or points on this track wouldthe skater have .The most kinetic energy?The most potential energy?The same kinetic energy (two points) andPart II: Track PlaygroundClick the ‘Track Playground’ tab at the top. Using the track pieces in the upper right of the page, build atrack with a single loop, like the track shown in the picture below. Be sure the far left and far right of thetrack are higher than the loop.Turn on the ‘Bar Graph,’ ‘Grid,’ and options. For now, set the ‘Friction’ option to ‘Off,’ and the ‘Stickto Track’ option ‘On.’4

Using the grid, what is the height of the top of the loop:Try placing your skater at different starting points on one side of the track.18. What is the minimum height you can place the skater so that he makes it all the way around the loop?19. Explain, in terms of energy, why the skater must be at the height in question 18 to make it through theloop.20. With the friction off, does the kinetic energy ever get as high as the total energy? If so, when? If not,why?Set the ‘Friction’ option to ‘On.’21. With the friction on, does the kinetic energy ever get as high as the total energy? If so, when? If not,why?22. Now with the friction on, what is the minimum height you can place the skater so that he makes it allthe way around the loop? Is this different than if friction were turned off?23. In one of the previous questions, we say you may have “lost,” or “dissipated” some energy. Where isthis energy going according to your bar graph? What does this mean in real life?24. Energy can be dissipated (or “lost”) in another way on this simulation. What is one more way thatyou can find that you will “lose” energy?5

Create a track of your own. Draw in in the diagram below. Label where on the diagram you have thegreatest kinetic energy, the greatest potential energy, and two places that have the same potential energy.6

conservation of energy tells us that we can never create or destroy energy, but we can change its form. In this lab, you will analyze energy transfer between gravitational potential energy, kinetic energy, and energy lost due to collisions or friction (thermal energy) as a skate boarder rides along a track.

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