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To find out if the motion of an elastic band changes the tension, by the rate of its extension

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Kirandeep Banga.Year 11 Physics Assessment.


The aim of the investigation is to find out if the motion of an elastic band changes the tension, by the rate of its extension. So in other words if an elastic band is extended to 20cm, will it move at a greater distance once its catapulted through the air, then a band which is say extended to 10cm, and if so why?

Is the height achieved by the band, related to the amount of tension that exists within the band while its being extended, before it’s catapulted?


To answer the questions asked above, I plan to carry out an investigation, in which I will catapult an elastic band in to the air, which will be extended from various extensions, I will then proceed to measure the distance travelled by each new extension of the elastic band, using a meter rule, and from my result determine certain trends from the graph to answer the questions asked above and to conclude my predictions made for the overall experiment.

The length at which the elastic band will be extended to, will start from an extension of 0.02m  , and will continue all the way up to 0.08m.

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 0.04                 1.4                1.6               1.5N

 0.05                 2.1               2.3                2.2N

 0.06                 2.7                2.1               2.4N

 0.07                 2.5               2.9                2.7N

 0.08                 3                  2.6                2.8N              

This tells us that as the length of the extension increases, so does the force of the extension. So if more force is applied while the band is being extended, as the band is catapulted it will achieve a higher height, because there is a grater force that is within the band that is able to push against the resistance of the air easily.

It also tells us something about the conservation of energy. While the band is being extended, it holds a lot of stored energy within it, otherwise known as potential energy. As the band is released this potential energy is transferred into motion energy, known as kinetic energy, which is the transferred gravitation potential energy, while the band is moving through the air and against the gravitation forces acting upon it.

So therefore all kinetic energy produced will convert in to gravitational potential energy as the band is released. Also as the graph states the bigger the extension, the more force is held within the band, therefore the more potential energy it will hold that can be converted to a larger amount of kinetic energy  and a larger result of gravitational potential energy.

If we were to take the equation for calculating the gravitational potential energy,  

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c1">                      1.9m

                                                                      0.0016kg x 10m/s      0.016

 0.05m              0.5 x 2.2 x 0.05 = 0.0550.055J                 =   0.055                     3.4m

                                                                       0.0016kg x 10m/s    0.016  

 0.06m              0.5 x 2.4 x 0.06 = 0.0720.072J                  =    0.072                     4.5m

                                                                        0.0016kg x 10m/s     0.016      

 0.07m             0.5 x 2.7 x 0.07 = 0.09450.0945J               =   0.0945                     5.9m

                                                                        0.0016kg x 10m/s    0.016

 0.08m             0.5 x 2.8 x 0.08 = 0.1120.112J                =    0.112                       7m

                                                                        0.0016kg x 10m/s    0.016                                                                                    

We then carried out the final experiment, in the exact way of my method. The results were then recorded in a table, along side the predicted heights.

 0.02            0.27             0.28            0.24             0.31             0.26            0.27m        0.6m

 0.03            0.58             0.66            0.62             0.70            0.69             0.65m        1.4m

 0.04            0.75             0.88            0.85             0.87            0.82             0.83m        1.9m

 0.05            1.10             1.17            1.15             1.18            1.14             1m             3.4m

 0.06            1.40             1.50            1.41             1.55            1.45             1.5m          4.5m

 0.07            1.69             1.74            1.65             1.69            1.70             1.7m          5.9m

 0.08            1.81             1.81            1.97             1.90            1.92              1.9m          7m        

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