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

The aim of this investigation is to find out how weight affects the terminal velocity of the same parachute.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Parachute Investigation

Aim: The aim of this investigation is to find out how weight affects the terminal velocity of the same parachute.

Theory:

A parachutist will come across terminal velocity twice throughout a jump. First the parachutist jumps from a high (extremely high) platform/plane/hot air balloon and then begins to accelerate downwards. At the precise moment of the jump there is no force acting upon him (assuming that it is a guy) except his weight. Straight after the jump the parachutist begins to accelerate at a rate of 10 m/s2, having acceleration and an increasing velocity also increases the air resistance. The man will continue to accelerate until terminal velocity is reached. This is when the force of air resistance and weight are equal therefore creating no resultant force meaning no acceleration. Even though the man is not accelerating he is going at a high velocity and if he were to hit the ground pretty hard and most likely kill himself. This is why there are contraptions called parachutes which lower the terminal velocity quite dramatically.

...read more.

Middle

The only variable that I am going to change and investigate is the weight. I will keep all the others the same to allow my test to be fair and come up with accurate results to base my investigation on. Changing the weight is not a hard task, all I need to do is add a fixed mass every try. I will carry out each mass 4 times to ensure thoroughness throughout the investigation.

Surface area of parachute:50cmx50cm

Length of string:2 x60 although the string is divided into ½

Number of strings: 2 but they are joined at both ends and meet in the middle

Height dropped from:2.64m

Trial Testing

Equipment

  • 1 Bin liner
  • String
  • Tape
  • 6 2g Plastacine pieces
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Stop watch

Method

  1. First I will cut out a 50x50 parachute out of a garbage bag.  
  2. Puncture holes in each of the corners.
  3. Tie equal amounts of string to the parachute.
  4. Make sure that the parachute weights 100g.
  5. Choose a site to drop the parachute and measure the height of the fall.
...read more.

Conclusion

During the test run I realized that the parachute took time to open so perhaps when while I am holding the parachute of for deployment I should hold the parachute open to minimize the time that the parachute has with the parachute un-opened.

We took the test run inside a classroom with a controlled climate, this was very effective although there was some disturbance from the air-conditioner, when carrying out further tests the air conditioner should be switched off.

Final Method

  1. Review the preparations from 1-4 in the previous method before starting these next tasks.
  2. Raise the parachute to a fixed height of 264cm, this height is not too high nor too short for the measuring of speed. Make sure that you are holding the parachute open before dropping it. Be sure that the timer is ready. At the same time drop the parachute and start timing. Stop timing once the parachute hits the floor. Repeat this 3 times to ensure accuracy and record the results.
  3. After the first testing try the second one (with a different weight) eg 10 grams, 15 grams, 20 grams etc.

Results

image00.png

Weight

Average Time (secs)

Average Velocity

5g

2.21

0.92

10g

1.95

1.02

15g

1.67

0.51

20g

1.58

1.31

25g

1.46

1.36

30g

1.31

1.60

...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

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)

    Mass The mass of the parachute can be increased by adding an extra weight. The more the weight of the parachute is the faster the velocity should need to be in order to balance out the Air Resistance and therefore reach Terminal Velocity.

  2. To find out how the weight of a paper helicopter affects the terminal velocity.

    4.25 0.83 0.86 0.91 0.99 0.96 0.91 1.76 5 4.64 1.04 0.83 0.79 0.83 0.79 0.86 1.87 6 5.09 0.69 0.84 0.69 0.74 0.75 0.74 2.16 7 5.55 0.71 0.68 0.73 0.87 0.83 0.76 2.09 8 5.99 0.6 0.83 0.59 0.56 0.52 0.62 2.58 9 6.46 0.63 0.64 0.71 0.48

  1. Squash Ball and Temperature Investigation

    and were nicely situated near the line of best fit showing they were accurate and precise. * Reliability of Evidence Here I can discuss why there was an anomalous result at 650C and how it could have been made. As discussed in the "fair testing and variables" section, every effort

  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

  1. Practical Investigation Into Viscosity

    All five ball bearings seemed to reach their terminal velocity at the same timed interval. Viscosity of liquid The second set of experiments was to show the affects of a more viscous liquid (engine oil) on the decent of a ball bearing.

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

    The first parachute can now be made. A circle of plastic should be cut with a diameter measured to exactly 10cm. This can be done by using a compass or a piece of spare string tied to a pen, 10 from the nib of the pen to the point where it should be held to the plastic.

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

    25cm by 25cm 2. 35cm by 35cm 3. 45cm by 45cm These three were going to be the largest of my parachutes (the other 2 were measured as 5cm by 5cm and 15cm by 15cm). By looking at the parachutes perfomance in my preliminary experiment I noticed that parachute 1 was barely creating enough drag for the object to reach its terminal velocity.

  2. Investigation into the range of a ski jump

    It is facing directly downwards, allowing the ruler to be placed directly under the point at which the ball leaves the ramp. The original method of recording the range of the ball was to let it fall into the sand pit, this method has many draw backs.

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