• Join over 1.2 million students every month
• Accelerate your learning by 29%
• Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
1. 1
1
2. 2
2
3. 3
3
4. 4
4
5. 5
5
6. 6
6
7. 7
7

# Investigate how mass affects the diameter of an impact crater.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

PHYSICS COURSEWORK
ASTEROIDS

Asteroids, also known as small or minor planets are irregular bodies that vary in size and composition. They are usually found in the inner solar system among planets and primarily move in indirect orbits between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars, however some orbit relatively nearby to Earth. This is the prime concern with asteroids; where in the past collision with Earth has had tremendous affects and possibility of future collisions will always exist. This concern has been popularised in many forms and everyday the rate of technology intended to reduce the impact of any likely future asteroid collision is expanding. In order to demonstrate an increase or decrease in the impact of an asteroid, measurable by its crater size, my outcome variable is: How a chosen factor affects the diameter of an impact crater.

There are many factors that have a form of influence to the affect of an asteroid collision:

Mass – The gravitational potential energy stored by an object is significantly determined by the amount of matter an object contains. As the mass of an object increases, the potential increases, hence the kinetic energy increases causing an increase in the size of impact.

Speed – The speed the asteroid is travelling at will have a major affect on the impact of the crater. Crater size increases with increasing speed.

Height – The speed of the asteroid is dependant on the height at which it is falling. Therefore these two variables are linked.

Middle

DIRECTED SURFACE

MASS (G)

CRATER SIZE (MM)

1

2

3

Mean

20

Fine aquarium gravel

Golf ball (42)

65

64

63

64

40

Fine aquarium gravel

Golf ball (42)

86

86

87

86.33

60

Fine aquarium gravel

Golf ball (42)

93

93

92

92.66

The table shows that as the height at which the ball is dropped from increases the crater size also increases. However from the preliminary work I have decided that I will keep a constant height larger than the ones tested. This is so more disperse results will be produced which will make the results clearer in order to notice any trends.

Varying directed surface

 DIRECTED SURFACE HEIGHT (CM) MASS (G) CRATER SIZE (MM) 1 2 3 Mean Fine aquarium gravel 50 Golf ball (42) 91 91 92 91.33 Silver sand 50 Golf ball (42) 93 94 93 93.33 Fine sand 50 Golf ball (42) 94 94 94 94

As can be seen from the table, there is not much difference between the crater sizes produced when the golf ball is dropped into different directed surfaces. However if my intervals of height were higher then more disperse results would most likely be produced.

Varying mass

 MASS (G) HEIGHT (CM) DIRECTED SURFACE CRATER SIZE (MM) 1 2 3 Mean Ping pong (2.6) 50 Fine aquarium gravel 42 42 40 41.33 Plasticine (29.1) 50 Fine aquarium gravel 64 62 63 63 Golf ball (42) 50 Fine aquarium gravel 92 93 92 92.33

As can be seen from the table, mass has a significant affect on the crater size.

Amongst the balls I was to experiment during my preliminary was a steel ball, however initial testing showed that the ball sunk right into the directed surface which would have made it difficult to measure accurately.

Conclusion

1. Without putting any pressure on the ball, remove it from the surface.
1. Finally using a vernier caliper measure the diameter of the created crater. The results of this should be recorded into the results table.
1. In order to produce the most accurate results possible, repeat stages 3-8 twice more using the same mass of plasticine. However it is required the mass of plasticine is measured again as this may have changed during the first recording.
1. Repeat the whole experiment again but stage 3 should be altered so the mass of plasticine is 5g heavier than the one before. This procedure should continue until you have recorded final results for 35g.

Safety is not a major factor to take into consideration. However it is optional to wear safety goggles in order to avoid a rare occasion of any fine aquarium gravel coming into contact with eyes. And as usual general safety will need to be carried out by placing bags away from the area used for the experiment and ensure the desk is cleared of all books and stationary.

RESULTS:

 PLASTICINE MASS (G) HEIGHT (CM) DIRECTED SURFACE CRATER SIZE (MM) 1 2 3 MEAN 5 100 Fine aquarium gravel 31 32 31 31.33 10 100 Fine aquarium gravel 35 36 35 35.33 15 100 Fine aquarium gravel 39 38 40 38 20 100 Fine aquarium gravel 44 46 45 45 25 100 Fine aquarium gravel 51 50 52 51 30 100 Fine aquarium gravel 53 57 61 57 35 100 Fine aquarium gravel 55 67 63 61.66

I found that altering the size of the plasticine to match the required range was time consuming and at times recordings had to be repeated as the mass wasn’t accurate. However using plasticine gave me additional independent control than I would have had if I used a range of different balls.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Electricity and Magnetism section.

## Found what you're looking for?

• Start learning 29% faster today
• 150,000+ documents available
• Just £6.99 a month

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

# Related GCSE Electricity and Magnetism essays

1. ## To investigate how a height of a ramp affects the speed of a trolley ...

if there is wind while we do our experiments the windy can act as an extra force to the trolley/car or it can act as a resistance and slow down the speed of the trolley. > I will make sure that the ramps are smooth and no damage is or will be made on them.

2. ## Does the height of a crater affect the diameter of the crater produced?

The required heights are going to be 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 cm. * For each height measure the diameter of the crater that is formed. * After doing this, repeat the experiment twice again to make sure the results are around the same so I can check if the results are right.

1. ## Investigate how mass affects the diameter of an impact crater.

Therefore the angel of collision has an influence. Each of the above mentioned factors do have a form of influence to an asteroid collision, however not all can be recreated in accordance to my experiment. Therefore I will rule out each factor that is irrelevant or shows a sign of possible obstruction when it comes to doing the actual experiment.

2. ## An investigation to find out how gravitational potential energy is converted into kinetic energy.

If the line isn't straight or if it misses the origin you can easily prove there is a fault either in the theory or the experiment/measurements. Instead of having to calculate the k.e. and p.e. of the trolley at each height and plotting a graph of k.e.

1. ## To find out what happens to the efficiency of a motor as I change ...

as the load lifts, and by the time the weight has been lifted to it's full height, all the movement energy will have been converted into gravitational potential energy, as the load can now fall. Because calculating efficiency requires that we know the useful energy output, we shall need a

2. ## physics of the bouncing ball

The rounder ball actually bounces nearly 2cm higher. This however, I believe to be an anomaly. According to the laws of gravity and kinetic energy a ball should not have has much energy when its lower therefore should not bounce as high. Having said this, all the results at that particular height were similar giving an average above what I would of expected.

1. ## An Investigation to find out how Dropping Height affects size of a Crater created ...

3.56 11.81 15.97 19.80 25.45 During my trial experiment, I discovered is it important that the sand is dry and not wet, this way the crater that in made is a more of a cone shape, whereas in wet sand the crater is a section of a sphere: This way

2. ## How does the Relative Molecular Mass change in heat combustion of an alcohol?

insulation, around the equipment so that the maximum amount of energy released possible goes to heating the water and is not dispersed in the surroundings. As hexane is very volatile and will quickly lose mass when exposed to the air even when not burning, I have learnt to immediately replace the lid when I have finished burning.

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