Year 8 Physics: Transfers of Energy demonstrations

So, as it turns out, it’s hard to imagine what elastic potential energy is. It’s hard to know when gravitational potential energy has given way to kinetic energy. And it’s even harder to conceptualise how these energies are transferred between objects all around us, all the time, everywhere we look! As one student put it, “physics is confusing!”

However, by conducting hands-on demonstrations of difficult concepts it is much easier to build understanding. No amount of diagrams or book-based explanations could replace the understanding that emerges from experience, experimentation and practical examples.

And so, with this in mind, Year 8 have set about conducting a range of experiments that demonstrate energy transfers. We wanted to share our experiment from this week with you.

Inspired by the wonder of a Newton’s Cradle in class, Year 8 set about observing the transfers of energy that occur in falling and colliding objects. Take a look at our video to see our amazing results and see how this helps us to observe transfers of energy in action.

Suddenly, by looking at a slow motion video of a basketball bouncing, it is quite easy to see, describe and explain the transfer of elastic potential energy into kinetic energy.


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