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Investigate the factors which affects the distance travelled by a tub propelled by an elastic band.

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Investigate the factors which affects the distance travelled by a tub propelled by an elastic band.


Aim: To find out how far a tub can travel by changing factors, which affect it. In this investigation the variables that affects the distances and is changed is mass that is applied on the tub while increasing the mass of the tub.

Other variables include:

The surface on which the tub is propelled on as some surfaces creates more friction than others. Friction is the force produced when two surfaces rub on each other. Some surfaces produce more friction and so try to prevent the two surfaces from sliding over each. This means that the force stops the tub from travelling far. The greater the friction the shorter the distance is it travels. Smoother surfaces allow the tub to travel further and since the tub is smooth the other surface also needs to be smooth as well in order to do this.

The size of the elastic band, as bigger and thicker bands are more elastic than smaller and thinner ones. Because they are more elastic the band can be stretched more so

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The Newton meter is released with the tub facing upwards and the tub should travel along the floor, making sure that no one stands in front of the experiment or walk across before releasing it for safety reasons. Also the person pulling back the tub and releasing it should be the same person. When the tub stops the distance between the back edge and the back feet of the stool is measured using the ruler. The result is recorded. This is repeated 3 times to calculate an average and to make sure that the result are reliable. This helps to detect any anomalies. Then the weights are put in using the 10g slotted masses starting with 2 10g slotted masses.The slotted masses are stuck in using tape and blue tack, which would add more mass The tub is weighed and because the masses are placed in the centre of the tub so all the weight will be in the centre.This then catapulted always repeating it 3 timesMore weights are added each time using the same process until there are 8 10g masses in the tubThen the force is changed to 10 Newtons and increasing the mass each time until there are 8 10g masses.


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Further work to this investigation could include using different sizes of bands and observing which size enables the tub to travel further. Also different surfaces could be used such as carpet or a surface that is very smooth such as ice if that is available, because this will create very little friction and so would be a contrast to a surface such as the one used in this experiment.

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