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

Test the effects of using a parachute of varying surface area on the terminal velocity of a constant mass.

Extracts from this document...


Physics Terminal velocity Procedure: We aim to test the effects of using a parachute of varying surface area on the terminal velocity of a constant mass. What is terminal velocity? Terminal velocity is the ultimate speed of an object in free-fall. It is where the force of weight acting on an object is equal to the air resistance acting on an object. Or, in other words, the forces are balanced and no acceleration or deceleration can occur. Newton's third law 'For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction' This means that when the billions of air particles are hitting the parachute, they are causing impact, rebounding and forcing the parachute backwards. It is also happening when you place your arm out of a car window. The air particles hit your arm as you are travelling, and push it back. As you accelerate, more air particles are hitting your arm, and with greater force. This force pushes on your hand, forcing it firmly back. Here I can also include momentum. Momentum is the mass of an object multiplied by the velocity. ...read more.


We will be making the parachutes using the following method: Use compasses to prepare a set of diameter lengths. This will be the distance directly across the middle for each parachute. Then, halve it. This will find the radius. Using these collected radii, I will substitute them into the equation '? R2'. This will give me the surface area of my circular parachute. To help the parachute fall in a straight path towards the ground, I must construct a vent to deflect the air pushing up on it, rather than it simply being deflected. This vent will also be circular, so the same formula '?R2' will have to be used in determining the area of the gap. This will then be subtracted from the total surface area. After that, to make the parachute conical and therefore more parachute-like, I will measure around the parachute 45? and then multiply the total surface area by 7/8 as 45? is one- eighth of 360?. Fig. 1. ...read more.


Prediction I predict that the greater the surface area, the lower the terminal velocity. I have decided this from not only the preliminary results, but also the formula: Force is proportional to acceleration multiplied by velocity squared multiplied by the density of air, or: F=Av2 x density of air. F= force of air resistance A= acceleration V= velocity At terminal velocity, weight is equal to the force of air resistance. This means that the equation can be re-arranged to read: Weight = Av2 x density of air. I want to find the terminal velocity in relation to the other factors, so it must be re-arranged so that 'V' is alone on the right hand side of the equation: Weight = Av2 x density of air. V2 = weight / acceleration x density of air V = sqrt (weight / acceleration x density of air) Using this equation, I can predict that the graph of results from my data will not be a straight line. Nor will it have a line of best fit. I have also concluded this from my preliminary results; the graph that I have drawn from these results is a curve. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

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

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. Marked by a teacher

    The aim of this experiment is to investigate what effect the surface area of ...

    3 star(s)

    The air vents will need to be kept closed as the air will effect which direction my parachute will fall in and this will increase the distance my parachute will be falling as the parachute will be falling in a curve.

  2. How does an increased surface area change the time taken for a mass to ...

    as listed above * Using a right angled triangle to make sure the ruler is 900 to the ground, place one 100cm ruler up against the wall and attach it to the wall firmly using sellotape. * Using the right angled triangle again, firmly attach the other 100cm ruler on top of the other 100cm to the wall using sellotape.

  1. Discover the effect that height and weight have on terminal velocity.

    Time Of Fall 1 secs Time Of Fall 2 secs Time Of Fall 3 secs Time Of Fall Av secs Terminal Velocity cm/s Average Terminal Velocity 40 0.19 0.21 0.16 0.187 213.9 212 80 0.35 0.37 0.39 0.37 216.2 212 100 0.46 0.51 0.48 0.48 205.3 212 140 0.65 0.66

  2. Investigation on how the Surface area of a Canopy Affects the Rate at Which ...

    1.87 1.78 1.91 450mm by 450mm 4500 2.53 3.09 2.82 I realised that if a parachute of 25cm by 25cm wasn't creating enough drag then my 2 smaller parachutes wouldn't stand a chance, they would be very unreliable and I wouldn't get suitable results from them.

  1. The Area of a Parachute Compared To Its Rate of Descent

    Speed parachute (m) size (cm) vertically (m) horizontally (m) fallen (m) (m/s/s) 0.1 0.33 2.86 0.3 2.88 0.57 5.05 0.1 0.33 2.86 0.37 2.88 0.79 3.64 0.1 0.33 2.86 0.34 2.88 0.71 4.06 Mean speed 4.25 Diameter of Central hole Distance fallen Distance fallen Total distance Time (s) Speed parachute (m) size (cm)

  2. The aim of this investigation is to find out how weight affects the terminal ...

    is made the parachute is always the same otherwise errors can occur with one parachute and not the other or on may be slightly bigger than the other giving untrue results. The following part of the investigation will explain the different variables and how they can affect the parachute and its terminal velocity.

  1. In this experiment I aim to find out how the force and mass affect ...

    Below is a clear list of the ranges and amounts in my two experiments. Primary Experiment-three tests on each 10cm) 20cm ) 30cm > Keeping weight constant 40cm ) 50cm ) Secondary Experiment-three tests on each 200g ) 400g )

  2. Find out how a variable affects the terminal velocity of a parachute.

    * The distance between where the parachute falls, and where it lands will affect whether terminal velocity is achieved or not. * The mass of the object would affect how fast the parachute would accelerate and achieve terminal velocity. Fair Test To make sure that this experiment is a fair

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