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AS and A Level: Fields & Forces
Meet our team of inspirational teachers
What are gravitational fields?
- 1 A gravitational field is a region where a mass experiences a force. The field strength, g, at any point in the field is given by g=F/m and the value of g on the Earth’s surface is taken to be 9.81Nkg-1.
- 2 Field lines point towards the centre of the Earth and are radial. Over small distances, near Earth's surface, g can be considered constant so field lines are parallel and the field is uniform.
- 3 G was calculated by Henry Cavendish by measuring the force of attraction between two lead spheres of known mass and separation. The force between two masses is given by F = Gm1m2/r2 and this is called Newton’s law of universal gravitation.
- 4 Inside the Earth, g falls from 9.81 to 0 Nkg-1 so we cannot use the inverse square law for r < RE.
- 5 Combining Newton’s law with circular motion can be used to calculate distance to geostationary satellites.
What are electric fields?
- 1 An electric field is a region where a charge experiences a force. The field strength E at any point in the field is given by E = F/Q. The force between two charges is given by Coulomb’s law.
- 2 For radial fields, E = 1/ Q/r2 and this is another inverse square law. For uniform fields, E = V/d.
- 3 Uniform electric fields can be set up to accelerate charges. The work done accelerating a charge through a p.d. V is given by W = QV. The unit of energy can be given in Joules (J) or electronvolts(eV).
- 4 When a charge enters a uniform electric field, such as between the deflection plates of an oscilloscope, there will constant acceleration and so suvat equations can be used.
For all electric fields, equipotential lines are drawn perpendicular to field lines. For radial fields, always show at least 3 equipotential lines as concentric circles with increased spacing.
The equipotential lines can be experimentally determined using conductive paper, metal electodes and a voltmeter to map out points of equal potential. You should be able to draw equipotential patterns for two point charges.
Similarities and differences between gravitational and electric fields.
- 1 Gravitational forces are always attractive but electric forces can be both attractive and repulsive. There are no negative masses but there are negative charges.
- 2 The ratio of the strength of the two forces is huge. For two electrons, FE/FG is approximately 1042. This demonstrates how much stronger the electric force is compared to the gravitational force over the same distance.
- 3 Both fields obey an inverse square law.
- 4 Over short ranges, electric forces dominate but over much larger distances, say between planets and their moons, gravitational forces dominate because the attractive and repulsive electric forces tend to cancel out.
- Marked by Teachers essays 1
- Peer Reviewed essays 9
Finally, the angle of the ramp was altered and the measurements taken again for three different angles. By measuring the vertical height at the point where the light gate was and a fixed distance from this, it was possible to calculate the exact angle at which the ramp rested by using simple trigonometry. Theory There were two ways to approach the experiment. It is possible to calculate gravity (g) by considering the 'conservation of energy', which calculates the gravitational potential energy of the trolley and uses this information to find the acceleration of the trolley. In this experiment, the variable is the vertical component of the ramp.
- Word count: 5816
air C Displacement of fall C Time taken to fall D Prediction Since the theory suggests that So the square of time should be directly proportional to the inverse of mass. A straight line graph of t2 versus m-1 should give a straight line graph with a gradient of All of these values will be measurable or known, except for the drag coefficient, c. Method Preliminary experiments Determining a size of the paper cone: Three unweighted paper cones were constructed from A4 paper and selotape: w is the width (diameter)
- Word count: 2095
* 'h' is the distance of the pivot from the centre of gravity in metres - independent variable * 'g' is the acceleration due to gravity - dependant variable By plotting T against h at this point, the graph will be a parabola. This is because T is proportional to h, and the equation is not in the form of y = mx + c, in which case the graph would be a straight line. The above equation can also be written including the mass of the pendulum.
- Word count: 1972
The object will accelerate to higher speeds before reaching a terminal velocity. Thus, more massive objects fall faster than less massive objects because they are acted upon by a larger force of gravity; for this reason, they accelerate to higher speeds until the air resistance force equals the gravity force . Method The apparatus used in the experiment are a plastic bag, scissors, a set of 5 paperclips, a ruler, stopwatch or wristwatch with ability to read to at least 0.1 s, notebook and pencil.
- Word count: 766
Investigate four factors that may affect the strength for electromagnets: the number of turns, the size of the current, the nature of the current (a.c. or d.c.) and the distance between the sensor and the magnet.4 star(s)
3 Connect the circuit as the diagram showed. 4 Twine the wire on the magnet with 20 turns. 5 Turn on the switch and record 5 successive readings on the graphical calculator as 'X1 T' (since the reading changes all the time) 6 Turn off the switch and change only and increase the number of turns on the magnet by 10 turns. 7 Turn on the switch and record the new 5 successive readings on the graphical calculator as 'X2 T' 8 Repeat step 6&7 for another 4 times and correlatively get X3 X4 X5 X6 T. Part 2: Size of the current 1 Measure the room temperature and record as 't'.
- Word count: 1503
this investigation, I am going to determine the acceleration due to gravity on the earth by using an electronic timer and varying its height of dropping. In this method, a steel ball is hold by a free fall adaptor (ball release mechanism) , when we release the ball, the current to the circuit is switched on and the ball begins to fall. At the same time an electronic timer starts. The ball falls through a receptor pad and this will break down the circuit to stop the electronic timer.
- Word count: 2347