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Find out how changing the surface which a margarine tub is launch on, influences how long it takes it stop.

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Introduction

Science Investigation to see how changing a surface affects the stopping distance of a margarine tub.

Aim:

        I am going to find out how changing the surface which a margarine tub is launch on, influences how long it takes it stop.

Variables:

        During this test I have a chance at changing the variables, which are:

  • Mass, (how much weight I amply to the tub) If I changed the mass in the tub, it would either get heavier or lighter. If the mass increased the pressure on the surface would also increase, which would push the tub against the surface harder so it will slow down more as its more likely to hit fibres/particles.
  • Surface (how rough or smooth the surface it) If I change the surface to a smoother one, it will slide better and take longer for it to slow down, as there want be as much friction acting on the base of the tub, as there is less fibres/particles sticking up, which would come into contact with the base of the tub.
  • Thrust (how much energy I use to propel the tub forward) If I propel the tub faster, then it will take longer for the tub to slow down, as it has to slow down from a higher speed.
  • Size ( how big the tub is (how large the surface area is, which is in contact with the running surface) If I increase the surface area of the tub, then there will not be more friction, but just a larger area on which friction will act, and so will slow the tub down.  
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Middle

    We will measure the distance it took the tub to stop in Centimetres, and measure from the front of the stool to the back edge of the tub. This will help keep the test fair, as we will not be measuring to different places for each launch.  To make the thrust given to the tub each time, is the same, I will use a Newton meter, and pull the elastic band back 10N.

  • Set up equipment (as shown below)
  • Choose a surface, and record which one you have chosen
  • Lay the surface down, and get the tub ready for launch
  • Put the tub in the centre of the elastic band, and pull it back till the tub is on the pre-set line, for launching
  • When ready release the tub, and leave it until it was come to a complete stop, some wear along the surface.
  • Get a measuring device (metre stick/ tape measure) and measure from the front of the stool, to the back of the tub.
  • Record the distance next to the surface, and repeat that same test 1 or 2  times more.
  • When you have 2 results for that test, then change the surface, and repeat the process.

        The experiment isn’t that dangerous, but we will make sure that no one is standing in the firing line of the tub, so not to hit anyone.

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Conclusion

Evaluation:

        The test was a success as I got good results, which proved my prediction correct. We had no problems recording the data in my table or inputting it on to a graph. The equipment I used was reliable and all help keep the test fare and make the measurement accurate. The results were accurate, because we repeated the experiment so to make sure the test went right and something hadn’t gone wrong, like the tub taking off as the elastic band launched it, as this would of made the distance much further as the tub would of covered ground without the surface affecting it.

        The only result which I wasn’t to worried about was the sandpaper, as I thought it would have had a shorter stopping distance, but I was reassured after I tested it again, and the distance was about the same. I had enough results to show ‘how changing the surface will affect the stopping distance of a margarine tub ’As I could prove my prediction right. If I repeated the experiment again, I wouldn’t need to change anything, apart from using more surfaces. But it would have been easier to use something else to measure the tension of the elastic band, as unhooking the Newton meter was difficult with out moving the elastic band.          

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