Sled on a Hill – Closed System

Remember:

  • Potential energy is the energy an object has based on its position.
  • Kinetic energy is the energy an object has based on its motion.
  • Conservation of energy tells us that type of energy in a system can change, but the total energy will always be constant.

Look at the graphs presented on this page and try to figure out what is happening to the rider as he or she proceeds down the hill. Assume that the rider is a closed system – there is no energy lost due to friction. Make careful notes on what your thoughts are and what reasoning you are using. Be prepared to scientifically argue your point to your fellow classmates.

Hitting the Slopes, Activity 1
 

Graph 1 from PDF
Graph 2 from PDF
Graph 3 from PDF
Graph 4 from PDF
Graph 5 from PDF
Graph 6 from PDF