• 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)

    For example, if sin 3.3 - � cos O = 0.025, then; g = 0.3367 / 0.025 = 13.468 (5s.f.) This is a change of nearly a 1 and a half metres per second per second from a slight change in the value of sin 3.3 - � cos O.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Determination of the acceleration due to gravity (g)

    4 star(s)

    was done using a circuit and a receptor pad, there is always a delay from the time that the ball bearing starting to free fall and the time that the timer starts. However this delay is very minimal. The most significant factor when measuring g is that air resistance which act upon the ball.

  1. Investigation to determine the viscosity of glycerol.

    Liquids typically have two types of flow properties - Laminar and Turbulent. When flow is laminar it is possible to determine the point at which an object moving through it attains terminal velocity. This is because unlike liquids with turbulent flow, liquids with laminar flow exhibit constant viscous force.

  2. Investigating a factor affecting the voltage output of a transformer.

    While the results aren't the same as my predictive calculations, I did expect there to be some discrepancy between them in view of my preliminary work. Therefore I believe that I have obtained good results as the curve I obtained is smooth and there is direct proportionality up to a

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

    Systematic Error Systematic error causes all the measurements to be shifted systematically in one direction - either larger or smaller than it would be. They cannot be reduced by repeating the experiment. They may due to: * parallax in reading the scale when viewing the scale always from one

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

    Measure the length from the point where the string is no longer visible on top of the ball, to the point of the pivot at the top of the string using a ruler, and note this down. 4) Start making swings of the pendulum, by dropping the mass from an

  1. Maglev Trains And The Technology Behind Them (magnetism)

    This produces a standing magnetic wave. Sections of the guideway are excited one after the other, with the excited section being immediately in front of the maglev vehicle. Superconducting magnets onboard the maglev vehicle are attracted to the section of the guideway immediately ahead of it, pulling the vehicle forward.

  2. Modeling a basketball shoot in the lab

    and I am going to use the first two sets of force where the compression is 3cm and the other 6 cm; and will label them as "small force", "big force" respectively. From theory, with the compression length above to shoot a table tennis ball, we found that: For a

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