• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Simulating Asteroid Impact

Extracts from this document...


Mechanics Coursework Simulating Asteroid Impact In this experiment the ball bearings will be the free falling objects which will simulate a meteorite or asteroid impact. Any object which is allowed to free fall in the Earth's gravitational field will experience an acceleration (g) equal to 9.8 m/s2. In order to determine the velocity of the ball bearing at the moment of impact, two equations are needed. The equation, (1) vf = vi - gt states that the final velocity, vf, is equal to the initial velocity, vi, minus the acceleration due to gravity, g, multiplied by the amount of time, t, it takes the object to fall. During this experiment you will be unable to accurately measure the fall time. Because of this, another equation is needed to determine the final velocity. (2) d = vit - 0.5gt2 Equation (2) allows you to calculate the distance, d, an object will fall within the Earth's gravitational field, if the amount of fall time is known. It should be noted that d is negative (-) for objects moving towards the Earth. In other words a falling object has a negative displacement. ...read more.


Smooth the surface of the white sand and sprinkle a light covering layer of colored sand on top. This layer of colored sand lets you see where the ball bearing pushes the white sand up to the surface as crater ejecta. This enables you to easily measure the crater diameter and to see the changes in crater morphology that result when using heavier ball bearings dropped from larger heights. Activity 1: The size of a crater is related to the energy of the impacting object (the asteroid). This makes sense -- as the energy of the asteroid increases, it releases more energy on impact, making a bigger crater. The relationship is not linear however, but rather some form of power law: D = k * En where E is the energy of the asteroid (kinetic and potential) and D is the diameter of the crater. Also, k is an unknown constant, and n is some unknown factor that describes how the diameter of the crater depends on the energy of the asteroid. We want to find out what n and k might be by looking at our scaled version of asteroids and craters. ...read more.


So we know n from the slope on the graph. We also need to know the constant k in the equation relating crater diameter and impact energy. To find k, you will use one of your data points. Pick a data point that is close to your best-fit line (one that you think is a good value), and plug D, E, and your value for n into the equation D = k En. Now you can solve that equation for the value of k. For example, suppose you dropped a 0.03kg ball bearing from a height of 2m. This give you an impact energy of E = mgh = (0.03kg) * (9.81m/s^2) * (2m) = 0.59Joules. And suppose that when you dropped the ball bearing, you measured the crater diameter to be 5cm = 0.05m, and also your graph had given you a slope = n = .25. Then, D = 0.05m, E = 0.59Joules, and n = 0.25, plugged into the equation D = k En k = D / (En) = 0.05 / (0.59^0.25) = 0.057 . Now, go and put all this knowledge to work in the Activity #1 Questions! ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Fields & Forces section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Fields & Forces essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Investigating the forces acting on a trolley on a ramp

    5 star(s)

    Finally, another systematic error could have been introduced when the distance from the light gate were measured. Since the light gate had to be suspended in the air, it was hard to fix it such that the light gate was perfectly perpendicular to the ramp.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Determination of the acceleration due to gravity (g)

    4 star(s)

    To avoid this problem, it would be better to do the whole experiment in the same place. In order to improve the experimental procedures, I think it is better to use an apparatus with a higher degree of accuracy. Such as a meter rule with the scale of millimetres standing

  1. Modeling a basketball shoot in the lab

    From this we can find out the spring constant k in formula F = -kx. Mass (kg) Weight (N) Length (m) Compression (m) 0 0 0.171 0 0.05 0.49 0.172 0.001 0.10 0.98 0.173 0.002 0.15 1.47 0.174 0.003 0.20 1.96 0.175 0.004 0.25 2.45 0.177 0.006 0.30 2.94 0.179

  2. Objective To find the acceleration due to gravity by means of a simple ...

    It is a kind of reading error caused by scale uncertainty. 3. As the value for g is obtained solely from the slope of the graph it follows that the % error in g is the same as the % error in the slope.

  1. Investigation to determine the viscosity of glycerol.

    This prevents accurate determination of the point at which a body reaches terminal velocity. The importance of knowing the point at which a sphere reaches terminal velocity is because at this point the forces acting on the sphere are balanced.

  2. Measuring The Constant g; The Acceleration Due To Gravity

    angle no higher than 30( from the normal, and then timing the period of four back and forth oscillations using the stopwatch, with maximum response time and alertness for pressing start and stop as the smallest deviations make a huge impact on the results.

  1. Lab Report - In this lab report, it will describe the weight of the ...

    Sampling the child's swing and the adult's swing, the child's swing has a smaller distance to swing from compared to the adult's swing which allows them to swing at a larger distance. Thus the pendulum will swing faster on a shorter string than a longer string.

  2. Design and conduct an experiment that graphically determines whether drag force is proportional to ...

    distance T = time V = velocity For M1A: d = .8m t = 1.18s .8m + .05 = 1.18s * v .8m/1.18s = .68 m/s + 14.7% Finding the drag force: *W = m*g = k*v^2 W = gravitational force M = mass G = gravity W = (1.09/1000)*

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work