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Physics coursework

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Physics coursework

Centre 40209

Candidate 3014

Anthony Brocklesby


  • To investigate the factors that affects the average speed of a falling cake case.


I will need:

  • 50 cake cases
  • 1 Stop clock
  • Flat surface
  • Tape measure


  • I predict 50 cake cases will fall with a greater speed than the others. This is because more cake cases have a greater mass and will therefore hit the floor with a quicker time, and a greater speed. My research suggests that because the mass is greater with more cake cases, they will reach a constant speed slower therefore accelerating for longer.
  • To calculate the average speed I used the equation
  • Speed = Distance


  • The distance I am dropping the cases from is 1.8 metres

Preliminary plan

        I will get 50 cake cases

  • Measure the height of where I want to drop cake cases off.
  • Use a timer and time the time it takes for the cake case to fall to the floor of the determined height.
  • Then record my results in a table then determine the average time by adding my first and my second times then dividing them by two
  • Then to find the average speed I used the equation speed =distance over time
  • So I divided my distance by my average time to get the average speed.


To keep the experiment safe I will make sure that the cupboards are secure and wont fall over. I will also keep the experiment area clear of other people.

I will measure

  • The distance from the top of the cupboard to the floor (1.8m) with a tape measure
  • The time for the cake cases to hit the floor, in seconds, with a stop-clock
  • My measurements are going to be to 1 decimal place because tape measures and stop-clocks do not measure any more accurately


I will repeat the experiment

  • Twice so I can determine the average time and to keep it a fair test.

Fair test

  • I will make it a fair test by conducting the experiment twice and dropping the cake cases from the same height. And using the same equipment, I will not change the cake cases or the stop clock because changing these could cause my readings to change.
...read more.

















































I improved my preliminary plan by deciding to make my results more accurate. I can do this by making another table and trying the experiment with 5- 50 cake cases, because I feel that my preliminary isn’t accurate enough. I will also take more readings of the time it takes for the cases to hit the floor.

...read more.


My research suggests that if I added more cases, the speed would continue to increase.


My preliminary results are better than my final results, and I don’t feel that my results were accurate enough because my preliminary results turned out to be the better set of results, because of this my results aren’t as reliable as they should be. I should repeat the experiment.

My results were accurate to 1 decimal place, I could use more advanced equipment unavailable at school to gain greater accuracy. My plan was detailed enough but I think I could have added a little more to it on how to carry out the experiment. My results also support my conclusion.

To improve my experiment I could take more readings, try the experiment again and draw up a new table and use the average speed from each table to determine an over all average speed.

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Forces and Motion section.

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