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Modelling Meteors

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Introduction

Plan When meteors hit the moon's surface it creates craters; we can represent this by dropping small balls into a tub of sand. By dropping the ball from different heights we can test how this affects the size of the crater and recreate what happens on the moon. In the first experiment I got a tub of sand a ball, and a meter ruler. I will set the ruler sticking up from the tub of sand using a clamp. I will then level off the sand and drop the ball from 10 cm above the surface of the sand. This will make a crater in the sand and I will measure the diameter of this with calipers. To keep it a fair test I will only have one variable, this being the height that the ball is dropped from. ...read more.

Middle

The heights I will drop from are: 10cm, 20cm, 30cm, 40cm, 50cm, 60cm, 70cm, 80cm, 90cm, 100cm. I predict that as I increase the height that the ball is dropped from, the crater will increase in size. As I reach a certain height however, the size of the crater will not increase as much and may even stay the same. Preliminary work Type of ball Mass of ball (g) Diameter of ball (cm) Height (cm) Crater size (cm) Height (cm) Crater size (cm) Steel 16.8 1.6 10 2.7 100 5.6 Wood 1.6 1.6 10 2.3 100 3.5 Plastic 1.8 1.5 10 1.8 100 3.5 Polystyrene 0.8 1.8 10 1.5 100 2.7 Plastercene 4.2 1.6 10 2.6 100 4.1 Marble 6 1.6 10 2.7 100 4.4 From this I can see that the Steel ball and the Marble are the ones which I need to choose from. ...read more.

Conclusion

More P.E (height) More K.E More K.E (sand grains) Therefore the larger the crater. Assuming that no energy was lost to heat and sound I can use these formulas to work out the speed of the ball when it hit the sand. P.E (ball) K.E (ball) mgh 1/2 mv� gh 1/2 v� 10h 1/2 v� 20h v� V20h v I can apply the overall formula to my heights to work out how fast the ball hits the sand. The ball I'm using is 6.1g. Height P.E ( J ) K.E ( J ) Velocity(m/s) 10 61 61 14.14 20 122 122 20 30 183 183 24.49 40 244 244 28.28 50 305 305 31.62 60 366 366 34.64 70 427 427 37.42 80 488 488 40 90 549 549 42.43 100 610 610 44.72 From this I can see that as the height increases the velocity increases which means that the kinetic energy is greater. Therefore a larger crater is produced. ...read more.

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