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

I aim to find out if the mass of an object affects the speed at which it falls.

Extracts from this document...


Falling Objects


I aim to find out if the mass of an object affects the speed at which it falls.

I predict that the mass will not alter the speed, as it will reach terminal velocity. I think that all the results will stay roughly the same even though I have changed the mass. When something falls, its potential energy is changed into kinetic energy. Therefore the only thing in this experiment that could alter the speed at which it falls is the air resistance and the height. (These would change the time at which the object is in the air). Theoretically, as I am keeping these the same, the speed should not change.

The scientist Galileo proved this.

This is a quote taken from the Galileo Timeline. (http://es.rice.edu/ES/humsoc/galileo/galileo_timeline.html)

"1589-1592 Teaches mathematical subjects at the University of Pisa (salary 160 scudi per year). Some tracts--lecture notes--written during this period have survived. In OnmotionGalileo uses the Archimedian approach to motion: the speed of falling bodies is proportional to their density, not their weight as Aristotle had maintained.

According to Vincenzo Viviani

...read more.



Weight (g)

Speed m/s (2.D.P)

Average m/s




































As you can see I have taken three sets of results for each mass and used the average, to make my results accurate.


My results have proved my prediction, that the mass would not affect the speed. This is made clear by this scatter graph, with a line of best fit.


To prove

...read more.


If I used a mechanism to drop the object this would help eliminate spinning. However, the sand was sometimes uneven inside the container so this would make the object spin at the start. The other problem with spinning was that the object would have fallen faster when it spun because it would have less air resistance. It would have been more accurate if I had used weights of the same size but different mass, instead of sand.

Also, when I dropped the container, I may have not dropped it from exactly the same distance every time. I also may have added force to the object with force when I dropped it. The mechanism would have also stopped this.

This would be a diagram of the mechanism I would use if I were to do it again.





When I pull the string, the mechanism would drop the object evenly.

Even with all these minor problems my results are still very accurate.

I now know for a fact that my prediction is correct because I have proved it in 3 different ways,

  • Using a practical test (experiment)
  • Using theoretical calculations (The formulas)
  • Using other people results as well as my own.

Daniel Hill 10S        25310.doc        Page  of

...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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This is a good report of an investigation
1. The report is well structured, although the plan could be broken up to include additional subheadings.
2. The prediction includes well researched science.
3. The evaluation is the strongest section of the report.
4. The analysis contains good calculations, although this needs to be compared to the results that have been obtained.
*** (3 stars)

Marked by teacher Luke Smithen 22/05/2013

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. Marked by a teacher

    The aim of this experiment was to compare the elasticity of arteries and vein ...

    4 star(s)

    The experiment needed to be able to produce results on equal grounds for the arteries and veins, showing how the elastic recoil could be shown after a significant force had been applied, and removed, from the vessels. The method below shows how the experiment was carried out.

  2. Investigating the effect of mass on a parachute

    Mass (g) 0g 2g 4g 6g 8g 10g 12g 1st Run 1.53 1.22 0.80 0.81 0.72 0.72 0.68 2nd Run 1.58 1.00 0.93 0.78 0.72 0.70 0.67 3rd Run 1.60 1.12 0.90 0.82 0.75 0.69 0.63 4th Run 1.58 1.12 0.87 0.80 0.79 0.77 0.68 5th Run 1.61 1.16 0.97

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

    -An electronic scale Table of results for method (i) PLASTIC TABLE SURFACE Mass of block of wood (g) Force needed to overcome static friction (N) Average force needed to overcome static friction (N) 325 0.6, 0.6 0.6 375 0.7, 0.7 0.7 425 0.9, 0.9 0.9 525 1.0, 1.0 1.0 725

  2. Investigate to see if adding mass to a cupcake case will increase the speed ...

    Preliminary Work For the experiment I am going to measure the rate at which a cupcake case falls to the floor. I am going to try to find out, by changing the mass of the cupcake cases, if the speed at which they accelerate affected.

  1. Trolley Speed

    The higher the trolley is elevated the greater the potential energy is. Formula for Potential Energy EP = m* g *h (mass x gravitational field x height) Note: * stands for multiplication Potential Energy By using this formula we can see that as the height of the ramp increases so does the potential energy.

  2. Investigating the factors affecting the speed at which a parachute falls.

    For our preliminary work we established what height we should drop the parachute from. We tried dropping the parachute from the height of the table top and found that the time it took to fall to the ground was too short to be accurate.

  1. The Physics of Paper Helicopters

    shows that the velocity was consistent for all of the heights, and shows that it was about 1.26 m/s. Varying the Mass In this experiment I will vary the amount of extra mass that is on the body of the helicopter.

  2. Report on Newton's laws of motion

    The car should stay in that spot. This state is called inertia. Imagine that All of a sudden some kid crashes into the car with a bike. These kids represent an unbalanced force. Because of this crash the car should start to move and might accelerate to 3km/h.

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