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GCSE Physics - Force,Mass and Acceleration Coursework

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GCSE Physics - Force,Mass and Acceleration Coursework


        In this experiment I aim to find out how the force and mass affect acceleration. I shall do this by setting up an experiment involving a ticker tape timer and trolley, to keep the experiment as fair as possible I will only change one variable at a time. For the first part I will only vary the force (see fig. 1) in difference weights of 1N, 2N, 3N and 4N. In order to keep the friction acting on the trolley constant I will make the ramp which the trolley is on at the exact angle so it would keep moving at constant speed if I pushed it, this simulates no friction. Also I will keep the mass of the trolley constant by weighing it on a top pan balance. Finally the ticker timer was kept at constant time intervals.

        Aswell as varying the force I decided to vary the mass of the trolley in masses of an extra; 100g, 200g, 300g and 400g. However as in the first part I have to keep the other variables constant,

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Equipment: I will need a special ramp with elastic at one end, books to put under the ramp to get elevation, but the elevation must be so that it is a friction/gravity compensated. A trolley, a ticker timer and tape. String to tie the falling weights to the trolley. Weights with 100g masses on, and also masses of 1kg for the trolley.

Fair test: Making sure that the tests are fair is quite a major factor in our experiment, because we have to keep all the experiments the same i.e the method in which we do it has to keep the same.

Predictions: I predict that the more kilograms that are put on the trolley, the slower the trolley will go down the ramp.

Procedure: When the equipment is set out as above then we will tread some ticker tape through the ticker timer and Cellotape the end to the trolley. I will put the trolley at its starting position (at the start of the ramp) and then when I am ready I will start the ticker timer and start the trolley down the ramp, and when it reaches the end I will stop the ticker timer.

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My prediction was completely correct because I said that the more weight that was put on the slower the trolley would go, and I have enough evidence to confirm that my prediction was correct.

Analysing evidence and conclusion

        We can conclude that the more weights that are put on the slower the trolley goes down the ramp. The reason for this statement to be true is because the more weight that is put on the trolley the more downwards force is exerted on the trolley, and the force is greater than gravity and so it goes slower down the ramp than it would do if I had no weights on it. It also causes more friction between the ramp and the wheels of the trolley and so therefore goes even slower down the ramp. My results compare very well with my predictions because I said that the more weights that were put on the trolley the slower it would go and as my results showed I was correct.

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