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An Investigation of factors affecting the flight of a paper spinner

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An Investigation of factors affecting the flight of a paper spinner Introduction When a paper spinner is dropped, it spins. The direction, clockwise or anticlockwise, depends on which way the wings are folded. It happens because the air lifts the spinner, as air resistance opposes its movement. It's done the same way on an aeroplane. The plane moves on the runway and speeds up so much that the wings 'slice' through the air. Air pressure is high underneath, but low above, so the plane is lifted up. The way the plane is lifted up depends on how the shutters are positioned. The spinner will drop at the start, but when the air resistance force is great enough, the air resistance will push the wings, which eventually makes it spin. ...read more.


The spinner (from wings) will be dropped at a measured height of 2 metres, which should just give me a good result and allow enough time for it to spin rather than fall all the way. Results Number of paper clips 1 2 3 Test1 1.34 1.06 0.98 Test2 1.14 0.95 0.97 Test3 1.36 1.15 1.01 Test4 0.92 2.36 0.74 Average 1.19 1.38 0.93 A graph to show whether weight affects the time it takes for a paper clip to drop Conclusion The graph seems to show that when more paper clips are used, the more quickly the spinner will fall to the ground. However, only tests 1, 2 and 3 show this. ...read more.


Not rushing things may have identified this mistake. The stop clock timed results weren't exactly accurate as the time the button is pushed may not be exactly the moment it first leaves your hand. The same is for when it lands - you can't push the button at the very samemoment when it touches the ground. It relies on your reaction speed The results aren't reliable, but more tests and greater differences in the weight might have shown more clearly whether weight affects the time it takes for a paper spinner to fall to the ground. More tests would give a better average and greater differences in weight would clearly show any changes in the time it takes for the spinner to fall. ...read more.

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