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Parachute Investigation

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Louis Franks 11PC July 29 2002 Parachute Investigation Method 1. Make a parachute from a sheet of clear plastic 50cm big, string (4, each 50cm long) and a small plastic canister. 2. Measure the fixed distance of which the parachute is going to fall from. 3. Drop the parachute containing no weights and measure the time it takes to land on the floor from being released as accurately as possible with a stopwatch. 4. Record the result in seconds. 5. Repeat with the same weight until sure of a constant result. 6. Repeat the process nine times adding 10g weights each time. 7. Calculate an average for each set of results. 8. Divide the average by the height it was dropped from to work out the velocity. ...read more.


We ended up with ten sets of results and did not go beyond, as the parachute tended to tangle up and fell too fast for us to measure accurately. For each different result, we repeated it at least three times so we could compare them until we were satisfied that they were constant and so reliable by eliminating the anomalous results. We then calculated an average for each one. Before this we carried out some preliminary work which included velocity and air resistance. Results in seconds Number of 10g weights Trial number 1 Trial number 2 Trial number 3 0 2.0 1.42:( 2.10 1 1.85 1.40 1.52 2 0.88 :( 1.14 1.18 3 0.90 0.93 0.93 4 0.88 0.93:( 0.72 5 0.74 0.79 0.75 6 0.59:( 0.90:( 0.65 7 0.60 0.63 0.63 8 0.84:( 0.69 0.54 9 Average does not include anomalous results :( = Anomalous result 2.6=height parachute falls from Av. ...read more.


Although the graph could have been more accurate to make it more reliable as the line of best fit is not definite. The evidence is still good enough to maintain a firm conclusion, as any inaccuracies would be too small to cause any prominent differences. Anomalous results could have been a consequence of many factors such as the time the parachute was dropped to the time the stopwatch was pressed may not have been in co-ordination. Or there may have been a slight draught which could have delayed the landing. I could have improved the evidence of the investigation by allowing a larger height for the parachute so the landing would last longer and the accuracy would improve when measuring. Also height could be added for the initial acceleration so it would not be included in the time, possibly 0.5m extra. We could have tried to extend the results to be more confident about the trend ...read more.

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