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Investigate how the weight of an object affects the distance it can travel.

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Introduction

HOW DOES WEIGHT AFFECT DISTANCE?

Aim

I am going to investigate how the weight of an object affects the distance it can travel. I will use a margarine tub as my object to carry out my investigation.

Knowledge

From preliminary work and research on the Internet I have gained some knowledge. This will help me carry out my experiment and understand it.

Equations

Work done (j) = force applied (N) x distance (m)

The previous equation also applies for Elastic Potential Energy.

Acceleration (m/s²) = force (N)    mass (kg)

Forces

Friction = the force which resists movement between two surfaces that are in contact.

Gravity = the force that pulls objects towards the Earth.

Air resistance = the force that acts in the opposite direction to the motion when an object is moving through the air.

When an object is stationary or at a constant speed we know that the forces acting on it are balanced. However, if an object changes direction, shape or size or if it slows down or speeds up the forces acting on it are unbalanced.

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Middle

Weight in tub

(g)

Distance travelled (m)

Average distance (m)

1

2

3

0

1.48

1.38

1.12

1.33

20

1.0

1.0

0.80

0.93

40

0.82

0.64

0.74

0.73

60

0.70

0.59

0.55

0.61

80

0.62

0.55

0.52

0.56

100

0.55

0.43

0.38

0.45

I am now going to work out the elastic potential energy in the elastic band so I can see if my prediction is correct. I shall do this by multiplying the force (10N) by the distance it travelled.

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Conclusion

This proves my prediction correct because all these forces were acting and this made the distance decrease as the weight increased.

The margarine tub gained more kinetic energy because its weight got bigger. The tub gained less elastic potential energy because the weight increased.

Evaluation

Overall I think my investigation was a success. I found the answer to the question “How does weight affect distance?” and I was able to draw conclusions from it. There were no anomalous results; on all graphs there are a smooth curve. This means that my prediction was correct and my results are pretty valid.

To improve the validity of my investigation I could use a larger range or take the averages of five results instead of three. I could also carry on making the tub heavier possibly to 200g or I could have bigger intervals like every 30g instead of 20g.

To continue my investigation I could find out what other factors affect distance e.g. force.

I carried out my investigation carefully, accurately and fairly so no errors occurred.

Charlotte Froggatt

...read more.

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