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To investigate the affect of changing the force applied to a cantilever on its deflection.

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Sam Beese 11.F


Any structure that overhangs e.g. a bride is known as a cantilever.  There is a direct relationship between the applied force and deflection of a cantilever.  

Aim: To investigate the affect of changing the force applied to a cantilever on its deflection.



  • Meter stick – to act as a cantilever
  • Meter stick – to measure deflection
  • Retort stand to hold measuring meter stick
  • G clamp – to clamp cantilever to bench
  • 100g masses – to provide the applied force (100g feels1.0N)


  • Clamp the end of the meter stick to the bench
  • Tie measuring meter tick to a retort stand such as a stool at the other end of the meter stick
  • Measure the current deflection and record as the deflection at 0.0N
  • Apply first 100g mass
  • Measure and record the change in deflection
  • Repeat the above for the next 5 100g masses
...read more.


Type an thickness of the ruler (e.g. thicker rulers will deflect less)Length of ruler (the greater the length is the greater the deflection)Distance from clamped end the force is applied to ruler (the greater the deflection will be because the turning effect is greaterMethod of measuring the deflection (use the same line of sight/point on the ruler)

If these are not kept constant the test will not be fair and the results gained will not be reliable.

I am going to change:

  • Applied weight force (0-6 Newton’s this will give 7 results which will be enough to identify any relationship)
  • Deflection (this is the vertical distance from the rest position the ruler moves)

In order to make this experiment safe

...read more.


  • Hookes law and its formula is obeyed up to an elastic limit which we did not reach as we predicted that at a weight force of anything over 6 Newton’s which is liable to break the elastic limit.


We took all the appropriate steps in order to make sure that our procedure was reliable.  In this particular investigation we obtained no anomalous results as all the results formed a pattern.  I feel that we repeated this experiment enough times to produce a clear straight-line graph and make a firm conclusion, which linked in with my prediction.  We were able to tell that our results were reliable as they were all close to the line of best fit.  The closer the results are to the line of best fit the more reliable they are, the further away from the line they are the more unreliable the results are.

...read more.

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