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Parachute Investigation

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Physics Coursework - Parachute Investigation Aim: My aim is to consider how one chosen variable affects the rate of descent of a parachute to see how the terminal velocity is affected by the weight on the parachute. Factors that are going to affect the rate of descent of a parachute will be the gravitational pull, which can be varied by the weight of the parachute. The other factor will be the air resistance, which can be varied by the actual size of the parachute. I'm going to find out what forces are acting on the parachute and how they change from the time it is released. I will do this by doing rough trials. Variables. Size of parachute, Weight supported by parachute, Height it is dropped at, Inside or outside. I will choose just one variable to change and keep the rest constant as best and fair I can. ...read more.


Rough Trials. I will do a few quick rough trials to check to see what range of results I will be measuring and how many results and over what range I will get my results. It will also show whether I have to change my plan at all. Safety. I will try and keep this experiment as safe and fair as possible. To keep it fair all the constant variables I will keep the same to the highest extent possible. The weight at the bottom of the parachute will be the exact weight that I have shown it to be, so my results will be as accurate as they possiblley could be. Method. I will make the parachute from a black bin liner. It will be 50cm by 50cm. 50cm 50cm I will then attach 4 pieces of string exactly the same length of 20cm each to one corner. ...read more.


gravitational pull, the air resisstance was kept the same through out the experiment so the more weight I put on the larger the ratio between the gravitational pull and the air resistance. My prediction was that the heavier the weight was going to be at the bottom of the parachute the greater the gravitational pull was going to be so the faster it was going to reach the ground I feel my results show this to be true. With the lightest weight at 5g taking 3.025secs to reach the floor and the heaviest weight at 55g taking 0.845secs to reach the floor. Evaluation. I was pleased with the range of results I produced I do feel I could have improved the experiment by making it a bit more accurate. I could also have used more weights to improve on the range of results I did get. Other things I could have studied in this are things such as speed of the parachute and such like. James Franklin ...read more.

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