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Investigation into how the speed of a falling cone is affected by its mass.

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Kassim Hanif

Investigation into how the speed of a falling cone is affected by its mass


Apparatus list:

  • Sugar paper
  • 1 meter ruler
  • Stop watch
  • Scales
  • selotape
  • plastercine
  • Compass
  • Ruler
  • Protractorimage00.png




The cone will look some thing like this:



I will drop the cone from a height of 2.5 meters

I did a preliminary experiment to test different heights, these are my results:

Height (Meters)

Time (Seconds)









I chose the height of 2.5m because I thought that this would be the best height to do my experiment and I thought that it would give me a clear set of results. To show me if any of me result reach terminal velocity or not it would also show me which one had the fastest speed and which one had the fastest time.

I will time how long it takes the cone to fall from my chosen height (2.5m) to the ground.

I will repeat the experiment 3 times. I did a preliminary experiment to decide how many repeats are necessary these are my results:

Height (Meters)

Time (Seconds)







I chose to repeat my experiment 3 times because if I do my experiment once the results

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To make my investigation fair I will control the following factors:

  • Keep the same height
  • Hold the cone in the same way
  • Drop the cone from the same place
  • Not drop the cone from outside because the wind might affect the way that the cone falls.
  • Keep the surface area of the cone the same. (The air resistance will be the same)
  • The same cone will be used.


I think that the 24g cone will fall the most quickly and the 8g cone will fall most slowly. I think this is because the weight of the 24g cone will be more than the weight of the 8g cone, the weight of the 24g cone will be 0.24 and the weight of the 8g cone is 0.08 (the weight of the cone is worked out by multiplying the mass in kilograms by the gravitational field strength, the gravitational field strength on earth is 10N/kg) this show that the weight of the 24g cone is higher so it will fall much  faster and it will also reach its terminal velocity much faster, I also predict that the higher the mass is the quicker the cone will reach its terminal velocity. for it to reach its terminal velocity there

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If I did this experiment again I would use a higher height, I would also think about using a higher rang of masses I think using a higher height or a higher range of masses might have gave me a better set of results because it might of gave me a clear indication if any of my tests reached terminal velocity or not.

I found it difficult to time the cones falling this was because I hade to start and stop the stop watch at exactly the right moment and if I did this wrong I would also get a wrong set of results to make it easier to time the cone falling I could use more advanced equipment e.g. speedometer.

I could do some further work if I did this I would use a different height to see if any of my masses reach terminal velocity that way or I could use the same height but I could use a higher range of masses this would show me if my results did start to reach terminal velocity and it would also have proved my prediction right about the terminal velocity and the mass. In my further work I would also use more advanced equipment like the ones listed above e.g. speedometer.  

Science coursework- Investigation into how the speed of a falling cone is affected by its mass

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