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An experiment to see how a balloon falls.

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Gregor Matheson ‘H’




We are conducting an experiment to see how a balloon falls; this is affected by both gravity and air resistance. There are many possible variables in this experiment including weight of balloon, volume of air in balloon, height the balloon is dropped from. I will only vary one thing and keep all the others constant. This will help to make it a fair test. I will vary weight of balloon by adding paper clips to the tail of the balloon. From my preliminary work I know that three paper clips weigh one gram. The two major forces affecting the balloon are gravity and air drag gravity accelerating the descent of the balloon and drag slowing it down.

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It is very important that I start the clock exactly when I release the balloon this should not be to hard however stopping the clock when the balloon reaches the bottom will be the hard part.

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Bar the two anomalies I think that my result were acceptably consistent baring in mind such uncontrollable variables as wind gust because someone opened a door. I could have made the results more reliable by doing them in some form of extra large tube with a stagnant atmosphere this would have removed such variables as the wind. I could have tried doing the experiment with a balloon filled with Helium and dropped from a lower height in order to discover the exact weight need for a balloon to reach terminal velocity before hitting the ground when drooped from maybe 1 meter.

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