Item NG005003: As a piece of clay falls, its gravitational potential energy is converted to motion energy, and as it hits the floor its motion energy is converted into thermal energy.

A boy holds a piece of clay above the floor.  After he drops the clay, it speeds up as it falls.  As it hits the floor, the clay flattens and gets a little warmer.

Which of the following describes the changes in the energy of the clay ball?

  1. As the clay falls, its gravitational potential energy is converted to motion energy (kinetic energy).  As it hits the floor, its motion energy (kinetic energy) is converted to thermal energy.
  2. As the clay falls, its motion energy (kinetic energy) is converted to gravitational potential energy.  As it hits the floor, its gravitational potential energy is converted to thermal energy.
  3. As the clay falls, its gravitational potential energy is converted to motion energy (kinetic energy).  As it hits the floor, its motion energy (kinetic energy) is used up but is not converted into thermal energy.
  4. As the clay falls, its motion energy (kinetic energy) is converted to gravitational potential energy.  As it hits the floor, its gravitational potential energy remains the same and is not converted into thermal energy.

Distribution of Responses

Chart showing distrubtion of responses for Item NG005003

Percent of students responding correctly

Overall48%
Grades 6–847%
Grades 9–1249%
Male48%
Female47%
Primary Language is English48%
Primary Language is not English46%

View data table