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• Level: GCSE
• Subject: Maths
• Word count: 2192

# 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
• Retort stand, boss, clamp

Method:

1. I will set up the apparatus as shown in the diagram above with the length at 80cm.
2. I will then measure how far the horizontal ruler is from the floor against the vertical metre ruler.
3. 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.
4. 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

Moment= Force x Perpendicular distance from the pivot. The force in this investigation is weight.

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.

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:

1. I will set up the apparatus as shown in the diagram above with the length at 70cm.
2. I will then measure how far the horizontal ruler is from the floor against the vertical metre ruler.
3. 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.
4. I will then repeat step 3 but with 2N, 3N, 4N, 5N, 6N, 7N, 8N loads at 50cm from the pivot.
5. I will then have repeat steps 2-4 a further two times to ensure that there are no anomalous results and so an average can be calculated.

Variable Table:

 Independent Dependent Control Weight of load Amount of Deflection Distance load is from pivotMaterial of rulerLength of the rulerThickness of ruler

Conclusion

The reason for doing my preliminary results was to get an indication of the patterns that would occur in the results. Also, it was a practice so if I made any mistakes then, they could be fixed so that for the real experiment, minimal mistakes would be made. When I look at my preliminary work, I can see that the diagrams are exactly the  same. From this I can see that the method is nearly the same except in this investigation the independent variable is the length of wire whereas in my preliminary investigation the independent variable was the cross- sectional area of the wire.

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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