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How time of fall varies with the weight.

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Investigation into how time of fall

varies with the weight


To investigate how the time of fall varies with weight. I am going to use a paper helicopter with paperclips attached. I will drop it form a height and record the time of fall.


Obviously, the heavier the object, the faster it is going to fall. I think that when I increase the weight of the object, by adding paperclips, it is going to increase the gravitational pull and thus increasing its falling speed. I do not think that it will be linear graph. There are a number of variables I need to take into consideration:

  • The design of the helicopter
  • The height I drop it from
  • The environment I do the experiment in

 I will keep the same helicopter design (see method), I will drop the helicopter from 3 metres each time and I will make sure there isn’t any windows or doors open in the room, so that no wind will effect my results. I will do the experiment 3 times, to provide more data to work with.


  • Make paper helicopter using template (see fig. 1) and keep the same design throughout all experiments.image03.png
...read more.


Use stop clock to measure time of fall.Repeat 3 times with the same amount of paperclips.Repeat the whole experiment 10 times, adding another paperclip each time.


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I found that the results where quite conclusive. I could provide more evidence by doing the test more times, and thus giving a more reliable line of best fit. Another problem that occurred was that when I added more than 10 paperclips, the wings on my helicopter folded up, loosing all air resistance and causing it to fall too fast. To prevent this I would make the helicopter out of something more substantial, like card or plastic. To stop the problem of human error I would use two light gates, to start the timing when the helicopter breaks the beam at the top, and stop it when it breaks the beam at the bottom.

Greg Lorien                

...read more.

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