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# Comparing and improving two rainfall gauge experiments.

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Introduction

AS Physics Practical; Comparing and improving two rainfall gauge experiments The aim of this experiment is to test and improve an existing rainfall measuring experiment using a potential divider. I have done this by modifying the equipment I use; this has given me a better resolution and more linear results. Apparatus For the first unimproved experiment * 5 volt Dc power supply * Rotary potentiometer * Float * Voltmeter * Beaker * Metal rods * Blue tack * Clamp stand * Ruler For the second experiment; * 5 volt DC power supply * Rotary potentiometer * Clamp stand * Arm with joint * Volt meter * Beaker * Float * Ruler Safety If the water is spilt then it must be mopped up. The beaker might break if it falls on the floor therefore all equipment must be kept away from the edge of the table. The rotary potential divider must be secured in a clamp stand. This must be held tightly so that it will not fall on the table as this would damage both he table and the rotary potential divider. Diagram of Experiment 1 Diagram of Experiment 2 Theory A rotary potentiometer has a primary use in fuel gauges in cars however it is also useful in rain detectors or robot arm sensors. It works because, when a 5 volt current is passed through the two potential divider connections and the rotary arm if fully opened up the full current will pass through. ...read more.

Middle

Conclusion

Before if the first experiment were left for 24 hours the float would have hit the side if it floated at all, and there would have had to be 3mm of rain for a clear reading to be taken. With the improved experiment, it could now be left outside, because the new arm joint allows the arm movement and to measure at a constant angle however, it will not hit the side of the beaker, only 2.5mm of rain would have to fall for a reading to be taken and the ball is assured to float. If I was to improve the experiment further, I would use a resistance box, and a power supply that gave a constant 5 volts instead of a power supply that gave a fluctuating 5 volts, I would also use a more sensitive voltmeter. A resistance box would not increase the resolution however; it would increase the strength of the signal to the voltmeter and therefore giving a better reading. If I were to use a fixed 5 volt, power supply it would give me a constant 5 volts instead of fluctuating around 5 volts this would also improve my voltmeter readings and linearity of my graph. If I was to use a more sensitive voltmeter I could increase the accuracy of my results by 1 decimal place this although would not improve my results it would make them easier to anomalies and then I would be able to find a more affective way of stopping the anomalous results. ...read more.

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