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• Level: GCSE
• Subject: Maths
• Word count: 1930

# Parachute Investigation.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

James Black  28/3/03  10Y1

Parachute Investigation Year 10.

Planning

We have decided to investigate the factor of weight and height.

Preliminary Experiment

The results of our preliminary experiment are shown below. The trial ran smoothly with little to no mistakes.

 1 Coin 3 Coins 5 Coins 1 m 1.09s 0.78s 0.67s 0.93s 0.79s 0.49s 0.87s 0.64s 0.49s AVERAGE 0.96s 0.74s 0.35s 2 m 1.90s 1.15s 1.12s 2.04s 1.27s 1.09s 1.71s 1.31s 1.22s AVERAGE 1.88s 1.24s 1.14s

Detailed Plan

Parachute Investigation – Investigating how different factors affect the speed of a parachute.

There are multiple factors which affect the speed of a parachute e.g. (a) the surface area of the parachute, (b) the length of each string (between the parachute and mass), which might control the volume of air under the parachute, (c) the mass contained within the basket, (d) the distribution of mass, i.e. perhaps on the parachute itself as opposed to on strings attached to the parachute (this of course would not be a continuous variable so it would not be of great value) and of course, (e) the height from which the parachute is dropped.

I predict that a heavier amount of mass in the basket will cause the parachute to fall faster and the higher the parachute is dropped from, the longer the time until impact.

Middle

Time taken

To make our results as accurate as possible we will repeat any ‘duff’ experiments. This will include any obstruction to the parachute on its descent, whether or not the parachute was released and the timer started at exactly the same time and stopped at the time when the parachute touched the ground and also if any malfunctions with the parachute or basket occurred during the descent.

To ensure that our results are reliable we will repeat each single test three time and find the average with the following equation.

Result 1 + result 2 + result 3 =    x_

3

‘Preliminary work has been noted above’

To certify safety, precautions must be taken while standing on high objects such as tables or chairs and also you must make sure before releasing the parachute that it is not going to collide with anything else.

Obtaining Results

 1 coin 2 coins 3 coins 4 coins 5 coins 1 metre 0.99s 0.78s 0.75s 0.64s 0.53s 0.90s 0.82s 0.69s 0.68s 0.52s 1.02s 0.83s 0.66s 0.54s 0.52s AVERAGE 0.97s 0.81s 0.7s 0.62s 0.52s 1.25 metres 1.29s 1.03s 0.94s 0.87s 0.58s 1.21s 1.13s 0.99s 0.81s 0.64s 1.50s 1.09s 0.89s 0.

Conclusion

I would say the reliability of our results was good and that to make the results more reliable the parachute would have to be constructed in a more methodical manner. To minimise direction changes the weight distribution would have to be perfect throughout and the attachments symmetrical all the way around.

The suitability of the procedure for the investigation was quite good although it could be improved by formulating some way of enabling the parachute to be dropped and the timer started at the same time to ensure fairness. This is the same for when the parachute touches the ground.

Providing additional relevant evidence to back up my conclusion could be done in a number of ways :-

• Further variables could be tested in order to find out more about the physics of the parachute e.g. (a) the surface area of the parachute, (b) the length of each string (between the parachute and mass), which might control the volume of air under the parachute, (c) the distribution of mass, i.e. perhaps on the parachute itself as opposed to on strings attached to the parachute.
• More tests could have been done to widen the range of evidence or to provide more evidence of what has already been done.

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