Item NG015003: As a ball rolls down a ramp, the gravitational potential energy of the ball decreases and the motion energy of the ball increases because gravitational potential energy is transformed into motion energy.

A student holds a ball at the top of a ramp.  He lets go of the ball and the ball speeds up as it rolls down the ramp.

How do the gravitational potential energy and the motion energy (kinetic energy) of the ball change as the ball rolls down the ramp?  Why?

  1. The gravitational potential energy decreases and the motion energy increases.  The gravitational potential energy is transformed into motion energy as the ball rolls down the ramp.
  2. The gravitational potential energy decreases and the motion energy increases.  As soon as the ball starts moving it no longer has gravitational potential energy; it has only motion energy.
  3. The motion energy and gravitational potential energy both decrease.  Both forms of energy are used up as the ball moves and are not transformed into any other form of energy.
  4. The gravitational potential energy and the motion energy both stay the same.  One form of energy cannot be transformed into a different form of energy.

Distribution of Responses

Chart showing distrubtion of responses for Item NG015003

Percent of students responding correctly

Overall47%
Grades 6–842%
Grades 9–1254%
Male49%
Female45%
Primary Language is English47%
Primary Language is not English41%

View data table