• 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
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12

Investigating Impact Craters

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Philip Jenkins

Physics Investigation

Investigating Impact Craters

The Aim of this investigation is to determine relationships between the following variables:

  • The height from which a ball (a simple model of an asteroid or meteor) is dropped and the diameter of its impact crater.
  • The height from which a ball is dropped and the depth of its impact crater.
  • The diameter of a ball and its impact crater.
  • The mass of a ball and the diameter of its impact crater.
  • The mass of a ball and the depth of its impact crater.
  • The angle at which the ball impacts and the length of its impact crater.
  • The angle at which a ball impacts and the depth of its impact crater.
  • Keeping the angle the same, changing the magnitude of the ball’s velocity – and measure the length and depth of impact craters.
  • Changing the vertical height dropped by the ball, after being released at an angle.

Preliminary Experiments

In order to get the best range of results some preliminary work was required. Firstly the material which was to be dropped into needed to be decided upon. The three main options are as follows:

  1. Flour

This was initially intended as the impact material, however after some early tests it was found that the flour would not hold its shape correctly after the ball had been removed from the impact crater. This lead to the diameter of the craters being changed greatly from the expected values.

  1. Salt

...read more.

Middle

The ball was dropped from an ample height of 35cm with 4 different masses. Each mass was dropped 5 times and an average taken for the crater diameter and depth (to the nearest millimetre).

Mass of Ball (g)

Crater Diameter (mm)

Crater Depth (mm)

10

17

2

20

19

4

30

23

6

40

24

7

See overleaf for graph.

Graph Analysis

This graph is very pleasing, as both the crater diameter and depth appear to have good linear relationships with the mass of the ball.

This will be due to the ball having more kinetic energy (mass multiplied by velocity squared) – so more energy will be put into displacing the sand grains downward and outward.

Experiment Three – How does crater diameter vary with the ball’s diameter?

Balls of similar mass and varying diameters were chosen for this experiment. Again the drop height was kept constant at 35cm and the balls were dropped 3 times.

Ball diameter (mm)

Crater diameter (mm)

53

42

47

34

43

25

32

21

21

20

16

16

image01.png

Graph Analysis

Another linear relationship – this time it is looser though. This could be due to the masses of the balls being slightly different. It was very difficult to find balls with similar masses – it would have been near impossible to find so many balls with identical masses.

Again the graph produces no surprises, as you would expect a ball with a larger diameter to produce a larger crater. The linear relationship would suggest that there is a constant that could be found and applied to balls of any diameter.


Angular Craters

...read more.

Conclusion

Conclusions and Evaluation

The following relationships were found:

  • For vertical drops, the drop height, ball mass and ball diameter all have a linear relationship with the resulting crater’s diameter and depth.
  • The angle at which a ball enters the sand is exponentially linked with the length of the crater produced (for angles above 25 deg.).
  • The angle at which a ball impacts is proportionally linked to the depth of the impact crater.
  • The speed of impact has no discernible effect on the depth of the crater (at low speeds at least).
  • The  vertical height dropped has a linear relationship with the horz distance travelled.

On the whole, the experiment was a success, however there are a few problems which would be solved if the experiments were to be repeated.

Firstly, for the final experiment, the landing tray was not long enough to slow  down balls travelling at high speed. A longer tray would have been able to produce a wider range of results.

Also the sand was difficult to keep perfectly level, and its compactness was hard to measure/control. This could have lead to some inaccurate results, as sometimes the ball would simply sink into the sand, but on other occasions it would roll across the top – giving a much larger distance. Possibly a rake or a large flat object could have been used to level the sand and break up any clumps.

...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

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. Peer reviewed

    Hookes lab

    3 star(s)

    > The pointers of the springs were not exactly horizontal thus causing the measurements to be slightly incorrect. > The ruler was attached to the clamp stand to make the experiment more efficient. However, it was observed that it was not in a straight line thus causing some inaccuracy in measurements.

  2. Investigate the size of craters in sand when a marble is dropped into the ...

    100% accurate then the areas of the craters would be the same each repeat. I don't believe that my results are completely reliable because I could have been a centimetre too high or too low when dropping the marble. Graph calculations Averages Area for craters from 10cm- Area for craters

  1. To investigate the height dropped from a crater and the affect in the size ...

    clear to see that the higher up the Ball bearing the bigger the crater. This supports what I predicted using the knowledge I already had. Suitability of procedure and how it can be improved: The results obtained are of good quality.

  2. Bouncing Ball Experiment

    This is impossible. Either the coefficient to restitution that was worked out is incorrect, which would mean that the first three results are inaccurate or subsequent results were inaccurate. These inaccuracies could have been caused by external factors or parallax error even though efforts were made to avoid parallax error

  1. Bouncing balls experiment.

    26 27 27 26 27 26.6 0.8 32 31 33 32 32 32 1.0 36 36 37 36 37 36.5 1.2 42 44 41 43 41 42.2 1.4 46 47 48 46 48 47 1.6 53 55 54 54 56 54.4 1.8 57 56 55 56 58 56.4 2.0 59

  2. To find out how the height from which a marble is dropped affects the ...

    I will now draw a graph to show my results using the average value from each height. Averages:- * 10cm = 30.3mm * 15cm = 36.6 mm * 20cm = 38.5mm * 25cm = 40mm * 30cm = 40.3mm * 35cm = 43mm * 40cm = 42.7mm * 50cm =

  1. How does the drop height of a small and a large marble affect the ...

    There was energy being converted all the way through the experiment, the following will show the energy conversions: The marble is lifted up (Giving it GPE) The ball is dropped (Giving it gradually increasing PE) As the ball falls the friction between the air and the marble (Transferring the PE to KE)

  2. Bouncing balls.

    get time needed from 2nd to 3rd = 3rd to 4th= So the total time to stop bouncing: It is an infinite equation, so I will use the sum of infinite formula: To reform the equation I will get So, To solve the sum of infinite: By this equation: I

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