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What affects how fast an object falls?

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The aim of our investigation, is to find out how fast a 100 gram falls from different heights.


When an object falls its potential energy, turns into kinetic energy just before it hits its landing surface.


The possible variables that we could use are as follows:-

  • Air resistance
  • Mass
  • Height
  • Shape
  • G-Force
  • Surface area
  • Speed
  • Size

The variable we have decided to use is height. We think that this will be the easiest option, and we have all the apparatus required.


I predict that the higher the 100 gram weight is dropped the faster it will travel, because it will have longer to gather speed. For example, say I was to drop a 2 pence coin form 5cm high and it landed on someone’s head it wouldn’t hurt much, but if it was dropped from a big skyscraper then it would hurt a lot.

...read more.


Height (cm)

Predicted Velocity (cm/s)











Fair Test

To make the experiment a fair test, we will do the following:-

  • Use the same 100 gram weight
  • Use the same ticker timer.
  • Use the same amount of sellotape


The following apparatus is going to be used:-

  • Ticker timer
  • Wires
  • Carbon paper
  • 100gram weight
  • sellotape
  • Power pack
  • Metre ruler
  • Calculator


  1. We first set out all the equipment required for the experiment.
  2. We made sure that there was enough paper running through the ticker timer.
  3. We
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From this investigation I have found out that when an object is dropped from a higher height, then the object will travel faster. This is because when the object is dropped from a higher height there is more potential energy. This energy is converted into kinetic energy, which is created by velocity (speed). So the higher the height the more potential energy, which then converts into more velocity.


I think that our investigation went well. We worked out how to predict the speed of an object being dropped, and one of our predictions was actually correct. The other four predictions were all within 0.80 cm/s off the actual result.

Overall I think out investigation was successful, and we had a good, reliable set of results.


...read more.

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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