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An Investigation to find out how Dropping Height affects size of a Crater created by a Meteorite.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Dave Burton 11FD

An Investigation to find out how Dropping Height affects size of a Crater created by a Meteorite.

An Investigation to find out how Dropping Height affects size of a Crater created by a Meteorite.

Plan.

The investigation is intended to demonstrate the way in which the size of a crater created by a meteorite is affected by the descent height.  I will be using a Pleistocene ball as the meteorite.  I shall be taking six readings starting with the size of the crater when the meteorite is dropped from 40cm above ground level, then the height will be increased each time by a further 40cm, until the final reading at 240cm. Sand will be used in the impact area.  

To maintain a fair experiment I shall have to keep several variables at a constant.  The mass and surface area of the meteorite and the force of gravity have all an affect on the force and speed that the meteorite hits the ground with, so I will have to keep these at a constant.

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Middle

8.9

9.5

9.9

10.8

11.1

Depth (cm)

1.4

1.7

1.8

2.2

2.4

2.3

Set 3

Diameter (cm)

8.0

8.7

9.6

9.5

11.1

11.6

Depth (cm)

1.4

1.6

1.9

2.3

2.0

2.1

Set 4

Diameter (cm)

8.2

9.1

9.4

10.1

10.8

11.0

Depth (cm)

1.5

1.7

2.0

2.0

2.1

2.4

Set 5

Diameter (cm)

8.5

8.8

9.5

10.0

10.5

11.4

Depth (cm)

1.5

1.8

1.8

2.1

2.3

2.2

Average

Diameter (cm)

8.1

9.0

9.3

10.4

11.0

11.3

Depth (cm)

1.6

1.7

2.0

1.9

2.1

2.5

I have used πr²d/3 as a formula to work out the approximate volume of the craters.

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Conclusion

3 larger then the average volume at that height.  Unreliable anomalous data such as this could have been recorded due to errors in several main areas:

Due to human error, the dropping height may have been measured inaccurately and/or there may have been inaccuracies when measuring the diameter and depth of the craters.  

Also, it is probable that the sand was not perfectly levelled for each impact, which may have lead to it reacting differently to each impact, making different size craters.

In addition the mass of the meteorite was not kept at a constant: each time it came into contact with the sand, some sand stuck to it’s surface.  This will have had little affect on the results, but it should not be dismissed.

I did repeat the experiment for each height five times in an attempt to ensure that the data is reliable and not just a fluke, but to accurately discover the effect of dropping height on the size of a meteorite crater I should really repeat the experiment as many times as possible.  This would compensate for any anomalous results.

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