• 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...


Stacey GoodwinSC1

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


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.

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

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.



3.29 s

2.98 s

3.65 s

2.03 s

1.32 s


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.

Apparatus:        Paper Cake Cases
                       Stop Clock

...read more.


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

    A change in viscosity will lead to a change in friction, which will result in inconsistent results. * Temperature of the liquid: The viscosity of a fluid and the friction opposing the movement of the ball bearings decreases as the temperature increases.

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

    0.00625 51.2 30% 150 5324 214 25 0.00117 274 81% 100 5324 514 25 0.000486 658 58% 50 5324 418 25 0.000598 535 -23% Results from set 1, 2 and 3 have been averaged in the table below Temperature Viscosity Nsm-2 (SET 1)

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

    this is including the timing card and the plastecine used to hold it in place. The exact mass will help us gain a greater accuracy. 1. To start with, we measured the mass of the cart: This was 850g. 2.

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

    pushing them). This experiment is being conducted to prove the potential and kinetic energy formulae which, once completed, can be used to calculate exactly the results of any situation using these theories. For example, the planning of a rollercoaster - if we prove the formulae, they can be applied to

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

    potential energy 1/2 X mass X velocity´┐Ż = mass X gravity X height * Velocity, measured in m/s, is how fast an object is moving. It is calculated by the equation: Velocity = Distance Time * Friction is a force, which acts, in the opposite direction to movement.

  2. Investigation into the effect of temperature on viscosity

    In the simplest case a comparison between liquids and solids could be made. If we say that a solid has a huge viscosity and a liquid has a medium viscosity, we know from everyday life that to change the state of a liquid to a solid we need to cool the liquid down.

  1. Squash Ball and Temperature Investigation

    34 35 35 35 36 35 55 41 40 41 42 42 41 60 45 46 44 45 46 45 65 49 49 49 51 52 50 70 49 50 49 49 48 49 75 51 50 51 49 51 50 80 51 51 51 51 51 51 85 50 52 52 51 51 51 (See graph on next page)

  2. I will investigate the change of velocity and acceleration of a laterally moving object ...

    The first is how the mass should affect the velocity. The second is how the height should affect the velocity. The third is how the mass will affect the acceleration. First let me discuss the first point. This test is based on converting gravitational potential energy into kinetic energy.

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