• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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.

...read more.

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
                       

...read more.

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

...read more.

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

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Forces and Motion essays

  1. The effect of the temperature on the viscosity of the syrup.

    on the outside of the measuring cylinder, instead of using my hands or anything else. I have repeated the experiment thrice to make certain that I am obtaining similar values for viscosity at each temperature. I have achieved this simply by following the same procedure as I have done for

  2. The aim of this investigation is to see what the relationship between force, mass ...

    If we look at our preliminary results using the equation m = F/a we can see that the difference between the mass we mathematically generated and the actual mass is comparatively large. The mass differences when manipulating our actual results were less so (using the same equation).

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

    Skill Area A : Analysing evidence and drawing conclusions Primary Experiment The graph clearly shows the increase in speed as the height of the ramp greatens, but not in a proportional manner. The slight curve suggests that another force is acting on the trolley and not permitting it to increase speed uniformly.

  2. Trolley Speed

    However they are not very far off so on the whole the experiment can't be said to be inaccurate in this way. Time taken for trolley to reach the bottom Height (cm)

  1. Investigation into the effect of temperature on viscosity

    seeing the ball pass the line, to actually pressing the start and then stop buttons. Using a large measuring distance, this effect can be lessened significantly. The ball must also be given enough space for it to be able to reach terminal velocity before passing past the lines.

  2. Squash Ball and Temperature Investigation

    Originally, I thought the heat energy given to the ball whilst heating it in the water bath will compensates for this energy resulting in a more than double bounce but as seen by the graph it merely balanced out the energy lost producing the straight line on the graph.

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

    is rolling down the ramp from a certain height where it has G.P.E. to a height where it has K.E, the G.P.E. at the top of the runway should equal the K.E. at the bottom. This equation can be used to work this out: Maximum kinetic energy = maximum gravitational

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

    This information can be used to work out the density of each ball bearing (in kg m-3) for use with Stoke's law to calculate the terminal velocity of each ball bearing. Hold a measuring cylinder using a retort stand and clamps.

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