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

An Investigation To Find Out What Effect The Weight Of A Falling Object Has On The Terminal Velocity Of It.

Extracts from this document...


An Investigation To Find Out What Effect The Weight Of A Falling Object Has On The Terminal Velocity Of It.

There are a number of factors that effect terminal velocity, such as surface area, weight of object, height from which it is dropped, and wind.  I have chosen to investigate the weight of the object.  It will be the only variable that I change.  


The aim of this investigation is to find out what happens to the terminal velocity when the mass and weight of the falling paper case is changed.


I predict that the mass of the paper case will have a direct result on the terminal velocity: the heavier the paper case, the faster the terminal velocity will be.  I am basing my prediction on the formula: (                 ).   Also, if the paper case is heavier it will have more gravitational pull pulling it down, thus increasing the speed.   I also predict that the lighter the paper case, the quicker it will reach its terminal velocity.  This is because to reach terminal velocity, the air resistance has to be equal to the accelerating force, if the accelerating force is less, then it should take less time for the air resistance to become equal to it.  


For my preliminary experiment, I did the experiment, but only

...read more.


 Record the time down on a table. Repeat the experiment for each weight three times.


Safety precautions:

Through out my experiment, I want to make sure that I keep safety as one of my top priorities.  To do this I must make sure that:

1. Before standing on the desktops, I must make sure that there are no small    spillages of water or any liquids that I could slip on.

  1. When standing on the desks to drop the paper cutlets, I am wearing trainers with a grip on the bottom of them, so that I do not fall off.
  2. I must make sure that I exert extreem caution when getting up and down from the desk, so that I do not hurt myself.
  3. I must remain aware of other people standing on top of the desktops, and make sure to be careful around them.
  4. To ensure that no one else slips over, I must make sure to pick up any paper cutlets of the floor.

Fair Test:

To ensure that the experiment remains fair, there are certain variables that need to be controlled:

  1. Make sure that you use the same equipment on every repeat of the      


  1. Let the same person start and stop the stopwatch, as some people have better eyesight and reaction times to others.
  2. Use the same paper cutlet on every repeat of the experiment, as some weigh slightly different amounts to others.
...read more.


Overall, I think that my experiment went quite well. I feel that my results were almost as accurate as they could have been allowing for human error, as the ranges between them were low.  I did not have any anomalies that stood out after I re-did my set of results for 0.7gramms, this also shows that my results were quite reliable.  

I really enjoyed doing this experiment, if I had more time, I would extend it further to try and find out the other part of my prediction.  I would use computers to time when the paper cutlets reached terminal velocity.  This would be more accurate, as it would cut out the human error margin.  I would also try and find another object (whose surface area did not change) to test the terminal velocity of as the paper cutlets, surface area was easily changed, which made the test slightly unfair.  

...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.

    This error could have been due to the difference in the way that I stopped the clock-watch. But the difference in the time that it took for the sphere to descend at 100 for experiment1 and experiment 3 is 216 seconds.

  2. How does the weight of an object affect the friction it has on the ...

    Mass of block of wood (g) Average force needed to overcome static friction (N) (1dp) Weight (R) (2dp) Average coefficient of friction (2dp) 325 2.9 4.19 0.69 475 4.2 4.66 0.90 625 5.1 6.13 0.83 825 6.6 8.09 0.82 975 7.4 9.56 0.77 1125 8.7 11.03 0.79 1275 9.6 12.50 0.77 Sand Paper (18 036C)

  1. Investigation into the effect of temperature on viscosity

    As such a straight line was produced which allows a gradient to be calculated. Graph 4 now gives us a straight line, we can therefore apply the straight line graph rule, y=mx+c Log10 F = mT+c The only problem is that c is an infinite viscosity at 0K.

  2. To find out how the weight of a paper helicopter affects the terminal velocity.

    Due to the terminal velocity theory my predictions are correct, that the more paperclips on the helicopter the less time it will take for it to reach the floor due to drag, and air resistance. As the helicopters speed increases, and it falls faster, the resistance also increases.

  1. Squash Ball and Temperature Investigation

    o Mass of the ball. Because the ball was heated in water, the water droplets left on the ball may have changed the mass of the ball resulting in a difference in it's acceleration speed as it was dropped (more mass = higher acceleration rate).

  2. Practical Investigation Into Viscosity

    Time taken(s) for ball bearing to pass through distance measured 1 2 3 Average 0-20 1.52 1.52 1.53 1.523 10-30. 0.68 0.69 0.67 0.680 20-40 0.71 0.71 0.70 0.707 30-50 0.72 0.70 0.71 0.710 40-60 0.71 0.70 0.69 0.700 Experiment 2.2 The second part of experiment 2 investigates the time

  1. I am going to find out what factors affect the Terminal Velocity of an ...

    I also decided to test how the weight of the paper helicopter affected the speed that it fell. Weight Results 1 Paperclip 0.0303 2 Paperclip 0.0240 3 Paperclip 0.0206 4 Paperclip 0.0193 5 Paperclip 0.0166 These results show that when more weight is added to the paper helicopter it accelerates to a higher speed as the Terminal Velocity is higher.

  2. The Study Of the Motion Of A Falling Cake Case With Reference To Terminal ...

    Time 2 (In sec) Time 3 (In sec) Average time (In sec) Terminal Velocity (m/s) 180 cm 0.81 0.88 0.81 0.83 2.1 150 cm 0.74 0.77 0.77 0.76 1.9 120 cm 0.70 0.62 0.63 0.65 1.8 90 cm 0.50 0.48 0.57 0.51 1.7 60 cm 0.35 0.48 0.40 0.41 1.4

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