• Join over 1.2 million students every month
• Accelerate your learning by 29%
• Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
1. 1
1
2. 2
2
3. 3
3
4. 4
4

An Investigation into the factors that effect the acceleration of a falling object.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Stacey GoodwinSC1

An Investigation into the factors that effect the
acceleration of a falling object

Plan

Aim:

The aim of this experiment is to relate the height of a drop and the time it takes for a paper cake case to fall the distance of 4.4m down the drop.  From my results, I can calculate the speed, the acceleration and also the value of the gravitational field strength.

Theory:

This experiment was first conducted in the 17th century by an Italian natural philosopher called Galileo. He believed that the speed of free falling objects increased in proportion to the time it took to fall (that they accelerated uniformly).
He came up with this:

Distance is directly proportional toTime
2

This expression replaces the speed with the distance and the time.  Both of these quantities can be measured.  In the 17
th Century, there wasn’t the technology to measure the time it took for an object to fall freely, accurately.

Preliminary Results:

I did some preliminary work to find out suitable variables I could change during the experiment and also what I should keep constant.  First of all I set up my equipment.  I then took readings, including repeat readings, of various masses and surface areas.

Middle

4

3.29 s

2.98 s

3.65 s

2.03 s

1.32 s

5

3.21 s

2.85 s

3.56 s

1.99 s

1.27 s

As you can see from the table above, I decided to test which variables changed in proportion.  My results show that more can be seen from a change in mass rather than a change in shape from the height that was involved.  This may be because there was no air-resistance on the objects which meant surface area didn’t have much effect on the falling rate.  When adding another paper case each time, it is easy to notice that the mass alters the results each time by making the object fall slightly quicker.
After doing the preliminary work, I have decided that I am going to investigate why the change in mass increases the falling rate.  I have chosen to do this because there is an obvious alteration in each increase of mass and by the end I will be able to see the increase in speed, acceleration and see if the gravitational field strength turns out accurately.
The only variables in this experiment will be the mass and the time.  I will keep everything else, like the height of the drop, constant.

Method:

Apparatus:        Paper Cake Cases
Stop Clock

Conclusion

Evaluation:
I think that the experiment went quite well as there wasn’t any anomalies in my results, but if I was doing it again I would alter a few things.  If I repeated it, I would add more paper cases to give a wider range of results, and I would also drop the objects from a higher distance so that it takes longer to reach the bottom giving it a more accurate reading.  I would also change location as the height I dropped the paper cases from was near a door and so occasionally let in a slight draft.  This could have easily influenced the paper cases as they only weighed 0.2 grams each.
My prediction proved to be quite alike to my final conclusion.  I knew that as more weight was added to the experiment, the time taken for it to reach the floor would be quicker due to inaccuracy of the experiment and Newton’s 2
nd Law

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Forces and Motion section.

Found what you're looking for?

• Start learning 29% faster today
• 150,000+ documents available
• Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
• Join over 1.2 million students every month
• Accelerate your learning by 29%
• Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Related GCSE Forces and Motion essays

1. An investigation into factors that effect the braking distance of a trolley

This is because the potential energy of the trolley when raised is converted into the kinetic energy of the trolley as it goes down the slope. As the height of the ramp affects the potential energy of the trolley it must affect the kinetic energy of the trolley as it goes down the slope.

2. The factors which effect the speed of a falling object

We will change the surface area by folding the paper so the weight remains the same. Number and Range of readings The paper size was 290.3 mm x 210.1 mm this was halved to survey different dropping speeds. Results Surface area of paper Time to fall (seconds)

1. Investigation into the effect of temperature on viscosity

cylinder this means that it will be affected by only a small amount of layer friction. The measuring cylinder's diameter is only approximately 1cm larger than the ball's diameter, this means that this friction is inevitable. Another problem with the experiment is inaccurate temperature distribution.

2. What is the relationship between mass of an object and its acceleration?

Diagram (After modifications) Method (After modifications) As the results from the trial run were not accurate enough to help us answer the question, we modified the method to gain this accuracy. During the trial run, we approximated the mass of the cart to 1000g. The exact mass of the cart during the final experiment is 850g;

1. Investigate the factors which affect the terminal velocity of a falling object.

any major temperature changes and left for a few minutes to ensure that the temperature remains stable throughout the experiment. To measure the density of the oil it should be weighed (in kg) in the measuring cylinder on a scale but the mass of the measuring cylinder should also be

2. Investigate the rule of F = M*A and so investigate the relationships between acceleration, ...

As for the upper boundary the value that I have chosen is 4.5N as the next value above available to me, 5N, caused the trolley to accelerate at such a rate that by the time it reached the end of the course, and the weights had reached the ground, 20

1. In this experiment I aim to find out how the force and mass affect ...

goes up very steadily the smallest gap between readings is 52 m.s.-2 while the biggest difference between readings was 57m.s.-2. These results show that when the angle of the ramp is increased the speed increases in turn whereas the acceleration between the 5� intervals is roughly the same around 54m.s.

2. Determining the Acceleration Due to Gravity

We will not try to measure the air resistance as in theory during SHM, damping will only affect the amplitude and not the frequency. The forces acting on the pendulum: A bob A of mass m hangs from a fixed point B with a string of length l.

• Over 160,000 pieces
of student written work
• Annotated by
experienced teachers
• Ideas and feedback to