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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Maths
  • Word count: 2333

Investigating the falling of paper cake cases.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

                                                                                                                            Investigating the falling of paper cake cases

Introduction

I am going to be investigating the rate at which a paper case falls at.  We are trying to find what things affect the rate.  For example:

  • Wind air currents
  • Mass/weight of cake cases
  • Height from which they drop
  • Size of cake cases – surface area

These are what we call input variables.

The output variables are:

  • Time of fall
  • Forces acting on the case, e.g. gravity, air resistance.

What am I going to change to get my results?                                          

To get different results I have considered, the height at which the case is dropped from. If this is changed then the air resistance and the gravity forces will be unbalanced therefore effecting the time at              which it hits the ground.  The weight of the case will affect its rate of falling; because its mass is heavier it will fall faster because the gravity is larger than the air resistance.

What am I going to do to ensure my experiment is fair?

To make this a fair test I will weigh my paper case on two different scales.  This will is to be certain because one could be accurate and the other one could be broken.

...read more.

Middle

1.80

1.58

1.60

1.59

2

1.90

1.97

1.94

My Results Table

Height (m)

1ST Time (seconds)

2nd Time

(seconds)

Average time in seconds

0.20

0.34

0.30

0.32

0.40

0.50

0.53

0.52

0.60

0.64

0.65

0.65

0.80

0.92

0.90

0.91

1

1.10

1.10

1.10

1.20

1.30

1.29

1.30

1.40

1.36

1.34

1.35

1.60

1.48

1.47

1.48

1.80

1.54

1.52

1.53

2

1.93

1.92

1.93

Apparatus

Paper cake cases

2-meter rules

Stop clock

Clamp

Masking tape

This is how my apparatus looked when it was set up

Firstly I set up my apparatus, so that I made it as fair as possible. My first experiment I intended to investigate a height of 10cm.  This was quite hard as the human reaction time was not quick enough to get an accurate result.  I decided that I would reject this idea.  I tried 20cm and this was still hard but it gave me a result that I could work with. I decided that I would concentrate mainly on varying the height.  However I will still do an experiment to investigate how the weight of the cake case will affect the rate at which it hits the ground.  For my height experiment I am going to do the same thing again and then work out the average, I can then plot this on a graph and comment on any patterns or trends.

I didn’t encounter any major problems when doing my investigation for height.  Apart from

...read more.

Conclusion

In my real results the gaps are about 2 seconds different, which isn’t the most accurate but when they are plotted on a graph the same pattern is seen.

Were the results reliable for a good conclusion?

I think my results were reliable enough for a conclusion because it supported my prediction.  I took 10 readings, which is the suggested amount to take.  If I had taken any more then it would have been interesting to see if the pattern changed in any way.  But I don’t think this would have happened because of the forces of gravity and air resistance.

Poor results occurred mainly because of reaction times. However this was fixed, by reducing the number of people conducting the experiment.

Other factors affecting the way the cake case falls

It would have been interesting to see how the results changed if I had decided to use mass as my variable.

I predict that as the cake case gets heavier then the faster it will fall.  This is true because the gravity would be more than the air resistance. Also the larger the surface area the slower it will take to hit the ground.  This is because the air resistance is pushing upwards in a bigger area.

Leanne Florent 11H

...read more.

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