GCSE Physics Coursework
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Introduction
GCSE Physics Coursework
Investigation of How the Deflection of a Cantilever Depends on the Weight
Aim: To find out how the deflection of a cantilever depends on the weight hung on it.
I have noticed this coursework and my previous coursework are very similar are as their aims are alike. Below is my preliminary coursework.
Preliminary Coursework:
Aim:
To find out how the deflection of a cantilever depends on the distance a load is hung from the point it is clamped
Diagram:
Equipment:
 2 wooden metre rulers
 G clamp
 6N load
 Retort stand, boss, clamp
Method:
 I will set up the apparatus as shown in the diagram above with the length at 80cm.
 I will then measure how far the horizontal ruler is from the floor against the vertical metre ruler.
 Next I will put a load of 6N at 10cm from the pivot and measure how far the horizontal ruler is from the floor against the vertical metre ruler.
 I will then repeat step 3 but at 20cm, 30cm, 40cm, 50cm, 60cm, 70cm, 80cm.
Table of Results:
Test 1
Distance from pivot (cm)  Measurement before (mm)  Measurement after (mm)  Deflection (mm) 
10  886  880  6 
20  886  875  11 
30  886  863  23 
40  886  849  37 
50  886  831  55 
60  886  815  71 
70  886  797  89 
80  886  770  116 
Test 2
Distance from pivot (cm)  Measurement before (mm)  Measurement after (mm)  Deflection (mm) 
10  884  880  4 
20  884  873  11 
30  884  860  24 
40  884  848  36 
50  884  831  53 
60  884  814  70 
70  884  795  89 
80  884  775  109 
Average of Both Tests
Distance from pivot (cm)  Deflection (mm) 
10  (6+4)/2= 5 
20  (11+11)/2= 11 
30  (23+24)/2= 23.5 
40  (37+36)/2= 36.5 
50  (55+53)/2= 54 
60  (70+71)/2= 70.5 
70  (89+89)/2= 89 
80  (116+109)/2= 107.5 
Middle
For example if I kept the weight at 4N but changed the distance from the pivot from 3cm to 4cm to 5cm. The moment will bigger at 5cm from the pivot.
Moment= 4N x 3cm= 12cm
Moment= 4N x 4cm= 16cm
Moment= 4N x 5cm= 20cm
As I predicted before the moment would be bigger at 5cm from the pivot.
Link Statement:
The methods to both coursework are very similar and they use the same equipment. As well the coursework are similar as they both depend such as distance from the pivot or the weight of the load hung. In both course works the dependent variable is the amount of deflection. As well the methods to both of the coursework are very similar as they are set up in the same way but the independent variables are different. In my preliminary course work the independent variable was the distance the weight of a load was hung and the control was the weight of the load. However in this second coursework the independent variable is the weight of the load and the control is the distance the weight of a load is hung.
Diagram:
Equipment:
 1 wooden metre ruler I will use a ruler with millimetre and centimetre markings so that the length of the cantilever can be measured to the nearest millimetre; this should provide an appropriate level of accuracy to prove that the deflection is proportional to the mass applied
 1 wooden 50cm ruler I will use a ruler with millimetre and centimetre markings so that the deflection can be measured to the nearest millimetre; this should provide an appropriate level of accuracy to prove that the deflection is proportional to the mass applied
 G clamp – to hold the wooden metre ruler
 Load 1N, 2N, 3N, 4N, 5N, 6N, 7N, 8N this will give me a wide range of results.
 Retort stand, boss, clamp it will keep the 50cm ruler straight at a constant level
Method:
 I will set up the apparatus as shown in the diagram above with the length at 70cm.
 I will then measure how far the horizontal ruler is from the floor against the vertical metre ruler.
 Next I will put a load of 1N at 50cm from the pivot and measure how far the horizontal ruler is from the floor against the vertical 50cm ruler in millimetres I will measure above the ruler rather than below it.
 I will then repeat step 3 but with 2N, 3N, 4N, 5N, 6N, 7N, 8N loads at 50cm from the pivot.
 I will then have repeat steps 24 a further two times to ensure that there are no anomalous results and so an average can be calculated.
Variable Table:
Independent  Dependent  Control 



Conclusion
To ensure that no anomalous results take place again I will always measure above the ruler
My results were reliable but to make them more reliable I should have repeated the experiment 3 or 4 times to achieve better reliability. But there was not enough time permitted to this repeat the experiment 3 times.
To further my investigation I could change the independent variable to the material of the ruler. The dependent variable would be the deflection. The controls will be the distance from the pivot, weight of the load, length of the ruler, thickness of ruler.
This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Height and Weight of Pupils and other Mayfield High School investigations section.
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