How do you calculate the rate of loss of energy on a ball moving in a U-shape (half sphere)?

Can I simply look at the height of the ball at its peaks and measure the difference between the potential energy $V = mgh$?

What other equations occur?

  • $\begingroup$ Are you asking how to predict the outcome of an experiment that you haven't done yet? or are you asking how to interpret the result of an experiment that you have done (or might intend to do)? $\endgroup$ – Solomon Slow Feb 11 at 15:03

The difference between two adjacent peaks divided by the time between those will give you a rate of loss of energy. But this will not take into account that the rate changes over the course from one peak to another as speed and therefore friction change.

If you want to add timesteps in between, taking the velocity into account, you must also remember that if the ball is rolling, part of it is converted to rotational energy, which you then would also have to calculate.


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