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Investigation into how mass affects the rate of fall.

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Aim The aim is to find out if the rate of falling cake cases increases depending on the mass. Apparatus Method To find out if the rate of falling cake cases increases or decreases depending on the mass we will change the cake cases mass by adding more cake cases. The cake cases will be used to change the mass. All of the cake cases will be dropped from a distance of 150 cm above the ground. We will use a 2m ruler to make sure that it is dropped from this height. This height was chosen as it was felt to be the most appropriate height. If the cake cases were dropped to near to the ground it would be very difficult to record the time taken for the cake case to fall to the ground as they would fall too quickly. This would make the results less accurate because the stop clock would not be stopped at the exact same time as it falls to the ground. It would be stopped much after the cake case falls to the ground. If the cases were dropped higher above the ground then it would be much easier to record the amount of time taken for it to reach the ground. ...read more.


The smaller parachute fell faster because it was denser. This made the smaller parachute heavier than the larger parachute. This is because the weight depends on the mass. This parachute had a smaller surface area so there was less air resistance.this explains why the smaller parachute fell faster. The larger parachute had less mass so it took longer to fall. This parachute took longer to fall because the weight was spread out so it became lighter. The larger parachute also had a larger surface area so there would be more air resistance. This would mean more force slowing down the larger parachute than the smaller one. Weight is a force and if it is increased, the object will fall down faster. This is because the speed accelerates when there is more weight. As the speed accelerates and the air resistance increases, eventually the air resistance and gravity balance. When the forces balanced, it is called a constant speed (terminal velocity). When the mass is larger, the speed and the air resistance would take a longer time for the forces to balance. Below is the formula, which relates to the mass and weight: F = MG Weight Mass Gravitational Force Strength The weight depends on the mass and the gravitational force strength. ...read more.


The reaction time may have affected the experiment results. The time it took for the person to stop the stop clock would not have been exact because a reaction time would have affected it. In the experiment, another thing that affected the result was that when the cake case were dropped not all of the cake cases were dropped at the exact point of 150 cm above the ground. This caused the results to become slightly inaccurate. It could be improved by ensuring accuracy of measurement i.e. ensuring that when the cake cases are dropped this is done at exactly 150 cm. We could have used a clamp to drop the cake cases. This would help to ensure that the cake cases were dropped at the same height, which was 150cm. This is because it would be at a fixed height. With a person, dropping the cake case from 150cm above the ground then it could be higher or lower but by using a clamp, it would guarantee that the cake case would be dropped from a distance of 150cm above the ground. During the experiment, the person who was stopping the stop clock changed positions with someone else. This may have affected the results slightly because both people using the stop clocks had different reaction times. The same person should have timed throughout all experiments so that the results would be more accurate. Jessica mensah 11l ...read more.

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