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

Investigate the effect of air resistance to the speed of a trolley moving down a ramp in relation to the area of a sail attached to the trolley.

Extracts from this document...


INTRODUCTION We are trying to investigate the effect of air resistance to the speed of a trolley moving down a ramp in relation to the area of a sail attached to the trolley. The prediction I have made is that the larger the sail area, the longer the trolley will take to descend, i.e. it will be slower. The variable I will be changing is the height of the sail, and so, the area of the sail. Some variables cannot be changed, but may affect the result of the experiment, and so should be noted. These include: * Atmospheric Pressure - Obviously, if there is no air, there can be no air resistance. The effect of this on our experiment is incredibly small, and so can be discounted, as there is always atmospheric pressure of approximately 960-1050 bars. This can be measured with a barograph/barometer. * Humidity - If there is lots of water in the air, it will increase drag on the trolley by a minimal amount. In an air-conditioned room, the humidity is on average, approximately 50%. ...read more.


Repeat three times, recording each attempt. Obtain an average, and record. If you obtain a set of results that you believe to be completely anomalous (e.g. 5secs, 10secs, 18secs, average=11secs) make a note to disregard these results from the final graph, then repeat. 3.Trim two centimetres off from the top of the sail, then add the trimmings to the tub. 4.Repeat steps two and three until no sail is left. PRELIMINARY WORK To work out the best height of the ramp for this experiment, we did some preliminary tests with a trolley with no sail. We recorded the time taken for the trolley to traverse the ramp: Height of Ramp (m) Time (sec) Suitability 0.2 Did not finish Completely unsuitable 0.6 2.00 Too fast 0.4 3.50 Good Based on these results, I conclude that 40 cm is the best height for the ramp. To give an adequate descent time we made the length one metre. This will also make it easier to work out velocity. RESULTS Sail Height (m) 1st (sec) ...read more.


and so the trolley accelerates. When the sail is put up, there is now a larger area, where more air particles will hit, causing more dynamic friction, which means that the trolley will accelerate at a lower rate. As the sail area is reduced, the amount of dynamic friction is reduced, and so the acceleration rate will be greater. EVALUATION The experiment was quite good, although the data collection techniques were inaccurate. As the trolley was released, another person would start the stopclock. As soon as the stem crossed our finish line, the timer was stopped. The accuracy of this method is entirely dependent on the reactionary speed of the experimenter, which is comparatively slow (light from a source bounces from the trolley into our eye. Brain interprets light patterns as pictures and makes sense of them. Neurons send messages from brain to motor neurons in hand muscles, muscles contract to press button and start clock). To make this more accurate, a new ramp could be set up, using automated lightgates and a laptop to collect highly accurate data. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

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

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. What affects the acceleration of a trolley down a ramp?

    Try it out and adjust the light gates if necessary. 8. Find the mass of the trolley and note it down. 9. Place the trolley on the ramp just before the first light gate and let go. 10. The trolley should then descend the ramp, breaking both light beams and giving you a time for its descent.

  2. An investigation into the acceleration of a trolley up a ramp.

    (although I doubt it was the case) Also the ramp could have not been, flat, there was a possibility that it was on a slope which would have meant that the trolley would have been going across the ramp instead of straight up it.

  1. The Area of a Parachute Compared To Its Rate of Descent

    0.0169 3.04 2.99 0.05 0.0025 3.24 2.99 0.25 0.0625 2.97 2.99 -0.02 0.0004 2.93 2.99 -0.06 0.0036 3.28 2.99 0.29 0.0841 3.09 2.99 0.10 0.01 3.06 2.99 0.07 0.0049 53.95 Total 0.391 Variance 0.022 Standard 0.148 Deviation Histogram of Results Total Distance Fallen (m)

  2. Speed Of trolley

    is F=MA. Where F=Force, M=Mass and A=Acceleration. The trolley accelerates due to gravity but not as fast as it could have due to friction- depends on how rough the surface is. The trolley will also be slower if the surface has many bumps. If the trolley is going through bumps it will find difficult to reach the bottom.

  1. Investigating the Factors Which Affect the Motion of a Trolley Down an Inclined Plane

    Instead, a more sensible range, so I have chosen from 10cm-50cm, would be appropriate and should yield some interesting results. We could take readings every 10cm, and take a minimum of three readings (only when using a stop watch, use one reading when using a ticker tape timer)

  2. In this experiment I aim to find out how the force and mass affect ...

    m.s-2 0.54 1.08 1.62 2.16 2.70 3.24 RESULTS Changing the Mass of the Ball Mass of the Ball (g) 6.06 7.30 8.63 28.07 Acceleration (m.s.-2) (Reading 1) 0.50 0.53 0.56 0.54 Acceleration (m.s. -2) (Reading 2) 0.52 0.52 0.55 0.53 Acceleration (m.s.

  1. Investigation into the effect of temperature on viscosity

    The ball began by dropping slowly, but then accelerated beyond expectation. It was discovered that the thermometer had been held too far up the measuring cylinder meaning that there was a large spread of temperatures from the bottom of the measuring cylinder to the top.

  2. Trolley Speed

    Therefore the dots become widely spaced because the tape travels faster and faster. The time interval between successive dots is 0.02s (= 1/50s.) The tape can be marked into 10 dot sections, each section taking 0.2s (= 10/50s) to pass through the ticker- timer.

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