• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Physics Practical

Extracts from this document...


Physics Internal Assessment


To conduct an experiment to investigate the effect of changing the mass of an object has on its acceleration when it is acted on by a constant force.


I think that when the force is constant, the heavier the mass is the less acceleration whilst when the mass is lighter the most acceleration will occur.


  • Pulley
  • Bob mass
  • Weights
  • Fishing line
  • Trolley
  • GLX data logger
  • Accelerometer
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Chocks


  1. Attach the pulley to the end of a table
  2. Set up the accelerometer and the GLX data recorder
  3. Record the initial mass of the trolley
  4. Tie the fishing line to the end of the trolley and the other end to the hanging mass.
  5. Lay the line over the pulley, and align the trolley so it will run straight
  6. Place the
...read more.




Data Collection and Processing

Table 1: Collection of Data for the acceleration of different masses

Mass of trolley (g)

Acceleration  (ms2) ±0.01

Trial 1

...read more.


Use the same person for each aspect of the experiment to minimise inconsistency

Random air currents

Air currents can affect the experiment because the reading on the weight scales may be different because of the pressure from the air and the wrong amount Oxalic Acid is used.

Close all doors and make sure the air-conditioning is turned off before the experiment is started

Number of trials

Because the acceleration only tested 5 times per mass, an accurate measurement of the acceleration could not be obtained because it did not take into account random errors that may affect the results of the experiment

Carry out the experiment until the values only differ only one percent of each other


Manufactured products are not exactly the same, and different products will change the outcome of the experiment.

eg. one trolley may not be the exact weight of another

Use the same equipment for the whole experiment

...read more.

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

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Response to the question

This is a good example of coursework, however it makes a few minor mistakes. The student has answered the question of how the mass of an object affects its acceleration very well. He has made a table which accurately shows ...

Read full review

Response to the question

This is a good example of coursework, however it makes a few minor mistakes. The student has answered the question of how the mass of an object affects its acceleration very well. He has made a table which accurately shows that as the mass increases, the acceleration decreases. He also made a graph of his results which comes out as a straight line, showing that the result is linearly proportional. Be careful not to conclude it is directly proportional, as for it to be directly proportional it would have to go through the co-ordinate (0,0) which it does not. I would also of recommend that he could of worked out the gradient of his graph to see how much mass affects acceleration.

Level of analysis

The student shows appropriate analytical skills, they have first made a prediction based on theory and have in their conclusion tied their results to theory as is a good idea as it will help understanding and improve the quality of the coursework. They however should of made sure that the force was constant in their experiment, as you should make sure all variables other than your independent and dependent variables are controlled, and this varying force could make the experiment indicate incorrect results. After doing this they could also work out the force by working out the area under the graph, since F=ma, and the graph was m against a, the area will be the force.

Quality of writing

The student's spelling and grammar are fine and they have followed convention by putting their independent variable on the x axis as they should, and the dependent variable on the y axis. Be careful to make sure you follow this convention. They have also made sure to repeat their results 5 times and work out an average, and clearly laid out their method before doing the experiment which is very helpful to ensure that the experiment goes smoothly. You don’t want to get to the point of doing the experiment and then not be sure what to do.

Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by jackhli 28/02/2012

Read less
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Forces and Motion essays

  1. The Physics of Paper Helicopters

    Again, the height will be constant at 6m. Wing height Wing width h/r ratio Time (sec) (mm) (mm) 1st 2nd 3rd Ave 110 57 1.93 3.18 2.72 2.72 2.87 100 63 1.59 4.15 4.18 4.09 4.14 90 70 1.29 4.22 4.01 3.93 4.05 80 79 1.01 4.35 4.53 4.91 4.60

  2. What affects the acceleration of a trolley down a ramp?

    the experiment I did to be fairly accurate and to provide enough evidence to support a firm conclusion. I know that my results are accurate because I could compare them to my predicted results to see whether they were right or not.

  1. Helicopter Investigation.

    Results Number of paperclips Time when dropped (s) Time when helicopter reached terminal velocity (s) Average time when started to spin (s) Time when it hit the floor (s) Average time when it hit the floor (s) Terminal velocity (m/sec, 1 D.P) Average terminal velocity (m/sec, 1 D.P)

  2. Bouncing Ball Experiment

    This was when the ball was falling in air. It provided me with five repeats so that the maximum and minimum results could be discounted and a reliable average could be taken. It was more reliable to use the middle three results as it automatically discounted any anomalies; assuming two

  1. Viscosity - Comparing the viscosities of different liquids.

    After emptying the cylinder, I will remove it and change with another one. This is done to avoid a possible mixture of the liquids, which can affect the viscosity of the liquid under investigation (e.g. mixing Honey with Oil could change the viscosity of Oil).

  2. Hooke's Law Lab

    - The metre rule was held in a straight position by attaching it to the clamp stand. Thus the data could be recorded more efficiently. - Since the base of the clamp stand was not very stable, loads were put on the base to make it more stable.

  1. Investigating the Factors Which Affect the Motion of a Trolley Down an Inclined Plane

    Another example of a vector is weight. The weight of an object always acts in a downward direction. Average speed is obtained from the total distance moved and the total time taken: Average Speed = total distance traveled Total time taken When a moving object increases its speed, we say it accelerates.

  2. A-Level Physics Investigation:The Ski Jumper

    As explained earlier on, the greater the height, the greater the range. This is because more GPE [mgh = mass (kg) * acceleration due to gravity (ms-2) * height of drop (m)] is converted into KE [1/2mv2 = 1/2 * mass (kg)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work