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What Makes An Oil Runny?

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What Makes An Oil Runny? Planning Apparatus Method We set up the apparatus as above. We then filled the capillary tube with oil. We then put a small ball bearing in to the tube and used a magnet to pull the ball bearing to the 22cm mark and checked the room temperature. We allowed the ball bearing to fall through the oil by removing the magnet. The person removing the magnet would count down in order for the person timing to be able to tine the experiment more accurately. We decided to take 7 readings and use only the five readings closest to each other and that were anomalies we repeated, so that on the whole we had a more accurate set of results. ...read more.


Also inter molecular forces are attracting other polymers more than smaller polymers of even monomers would so this causes more energy to be required to push the oil out of the way of the ball bearing moves more slowly in C16H34 than it would inC6H14. Analysing I found that the larger the molecule the longer it takes to roll down the capillary tube. This shows that the intermolecular forces are stronger in a long polymer than a shorter one. The graph I have drawn from my results has a curve to start with and then becomes a strait line. The graph shows that the larger molecules create more resistance towards the ball bearing and this shows that larger molecules are less runny therefore it is molecule size that dictates runniness. ...read more.


The method used isolated one variable, time, and so demonstrated a good scientific method in this experiment. Suggested changes to improve the reliability of the evidence are: 1. To put the tube in a water bath to ensure that the temperature remains constant. 2. To design an automatic release mechanism using an electromagnetic release with an induction sensor at or near the base of the tube coupled to a timing device. 3. The viscosity of the oil could change as the experiment progresses because the ball bearing may case some of the molecules to break down into smaller molecules. This process is known as cracking and normally requires high temperature and a catalyst but could occur on a limited scale under the conditions of this experiment. This could be further investigated by repeating the experiment with a wider tube and a lighter ball bearing to reduce the effect of friction. ...read more.

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