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Parachutes Coursework

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Parachutes Coursework Aim- To investigate one factor that affects the rate of decent of a parachute. Plan There are many factors that affect the rate of decent of a parachute, some of these are: The weight of the object on the end of a parachute, the weight of the parachute, the length of the strings on the end of the parachute, the surface area of the parachute, and the shape of the parachute. As we were only instructed to investigate one of the factors listed above we chose to find out how the surface area of a parachute affects it's fall.This is how we are going to carry out our experiment: Firstly we will cut out 8 differently sized parachutes from a black binliner. The parachutes will be sized 25cm (5cm 5cm), 100cm (10cm 10cm), 225cm (15cm 15cm), 400cm (20cm 20cm), 625cm (25cm 25cm), 900cm (30cm 30cm), 1225cm (35cm 35cm), 1600cm (40cm 40cm). These sizes are evenly spaced because when i come to plot my results on a graph they will be alot easier to read and hopefully a pattern will appear. Secondly we will cut out some lengths of string. 32 lengths of string will be needed in all (one for each corner of each parachute). All of the pieces of string should be the same length (40cm) ...read more.


parachute the same, keep the strings on the parachutes the same length, put the plasticine at the same pointon the strings on the parachute and secure the strings in the same position on each parachute. The reasons for these are explained earlier in the plan. To make sure the experiment was safe we didn't stick our heads in the plastic bags (so we didn't suffocate), we were carefull with the scissors (so we didn't cut ourselves), we took high heeled shoes of when we were climbing on tables (so that we didn't fall of) and we made sure that the area was clear of people before dropping the parachutes so that they didn't fall on somebody's head or trip somebody up. The equipment that we will use to do this experiment is: 2 black binliners 1280cm string 5g plasticine Scissors Sellotape Meter ruler Stopwatch Prediction I predict that when we do the experiment that the bigger the surface area of the parachute the longer the parachute will take to reach the ground. I think this because the bigger the surface area the bigger the air resistance. The bigger the air resistance the quicker the terminal speed is reached. The quicker the terminal speed is reached the slower the terminal speed is. ...read more.


using the same weight of plasticine on each parachute, exactly what we did to make it a fair test is explaind fully in the plan. When I got my results there were 3 anomalous results one at 100cm , one at 225cm and one at 1225cm . An anomalous result is when a result doesn't fit in with the rest of the results, the two results that I have listed above don't fit onto my curve of best fit. I think we got these anomalous results because of human error, are reaction times could have been slowed when timing the results or the parachutes could have been faulty or measured slightly wrongly. There are lots of reasons for human error. If I did the experiment again I could improve it by dropping each parachute more than 4 times so that the results were more accurate. I could use a better material than black bags to make the parachutes out of because then they wouldn't ruccle when sellotape was put on them or rip when you are trying to cut them out. I could extend my investigation by carrying on an using bigger surface areas. If I did do this I think that eventually the line on the graph would straighten off because eventually the parachutes wouldn't be able to reach the point of no resultant force any quicker. ...read more.

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