Item NG085002: Assuming that no energy is transferred between a ball and the curved track it is moving in, or between the ball and the air around it, the ball will not have enough energy to go over a hill that is higher than the height from which it started because the total energy of the system has to remain the same.

Imagine a ball on a track where no energy is transferred between the ball and the track or between the ball and the air around it.  The ball starts from rest at the position labeled Start. 

Will the ball have enough energy to go over the hill on the track and why?  (Remember that no energy is transferred between the ball and the track or between the ball and the air around it.)

  1. Yes, because the energy that the ball gains as it goes down the first part of the track will be greater than the amount of energy it will lose as it goes up the hill
  2. Yes, because the ball gains energy the entire time it is moving, so it will have enough energy to go over the hill
  3. No, because the total amount of energy in the system remains the same, which means that the ball cannot go any higher than the point which it started from
  4. No, because the total amount of energy of the ball will decrease as it moves along the track, and it will not have enough energy to go over the hill