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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Science
  • Essay length: 1397 words

Paper parachute investigation - Investigating the relationships between the sizes of the cones, the time taken to fall to the ground and ultimately the speed at which each cone falls.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Paper Parachute Method I will make several differently sized paper cones and time how long each cone takes to fall to the ground from the same height (2.72m). I can then investigate the relationships between the sizes of the cones, the time taken to fall to the ground and ultimately the speed at which each cone falls. For this experiment, I will need: * Different sized circles, * Scissors, * Protractor, * Stopwatch, * Ruler, * Sellotape. Before I start I must consider the most important factors in this experiment. The size of the cones; the change in size will create a change in air resistance and therefore affect the velocity. The amount of Sellotape we use will affect the weight of the cone and affect the results; therefore we must use proportionally the same amount of Sellotape for each parachute. The angle at which the cone is created will remain the same (60 degrees) throughout the experiment, as the angle will determine whether the cone is wide or narrow. I will repeat the experiment 3 times and take an average to produce more accurate results. I will record the time the parachutes take to reach the floor using a stopwatch; the same person will record every parachute to ensure that reaction time is not a factor in this experiment.

Middle

Results Cone size (cm) Time 1 (sec) Time 2 (sec) Time 3 (sec) Average (sec) 1 1.56 1.54 1.44 1.51 2 1.63 1.66 1.85 1.64 3 1.75 1.81 1.84 1.68 4 1.6 1.78 1.68 1.69 6 1.72 1.97 1.84 1.84 8 1.9 1.65 1.85 1.8 10 2.09 2.03 1.9 2.01 Conclusion I have found that, in general, the larger the parachute, the more time it took to reach the ground. This means that it's velocity was lower so I used the equation: Velocity = to work out the average velocity at which the parachutes were travelling. Also, using my graph, I could work out the percentage difference from one cone to the next. Cone size (cm) Velocity (m/s) 1 1.8 2 1.65 3 1.62 4 1.61 6 1.48 8 1.51 10 1.35 We can tell from both the chart and the graph that there were anomalies in this experiment. These have occurred because of other factors affecting the experiment such as possible human error while using the stopwatch. When these anomalies are removed, we are left with more accurate averages of velocity. Cone size (cm) Average velocity (m/s) 1 1.80 2 1.65 3 1.62 4 1.57 6 1.53 8 1.45 10 1.35 This graph shows quite clearly the relationship between the size of the cone and the velocity at which it falls.

Conclusion

Vehicles can be designed so that they move as efficiently as possible, with the minimum wastage of energy. This is known as "streamlining". A car that is streamlined for example has sloping front and smooth sides. Terminal velocity is the speed at which the force accelerating an object through a particular medium is balanced by the drag slowing it down. This terminal velocity depends on the nature of the medium, and the shape and size of the falling object. Less compact shapes will fall slowly because air resistance slows them down. With more compact shapes, the drag force is much less in relation to its weight, so it is slowed down much less. A falling object will eventually reach a speed where the drag force exactly equals the objects weight. At this point, the object stops accelerating, and it is said to have reacted its terminal velocity. The force of gravity acts between any two masses, making them attract to one another. Everything on Earth is pulled down to the Earth's surface by gravity; and this force gives objects their weight. Like other forces, gravity is measured in Newtons. The gravitational force exerted by the Earth is about 9.81 Newtons on every kilogram of matter on its surface. ?? ?? ?? ?? Paper Parachute - 26/04/2007 Sam Nicholls - Paper Parachute - 26/04/2007

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