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

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

Extracts from this document...


Physics - Terminal Velocity SC1 Aim: To find out how the weight of a paper helicopter affects the terminal velocity. Apparatus: A5 Piece of Paper Stopwatch 1 metre measuring sticks Paper Clips Stool Scissors Ruler Scales Method: I will draw, cut and make a paper helicopter from an A5 piece of paper. I will then weigh the helicopter without any extra weight. The helicopter will then be dropped from the ceiling of the room and my partner will time how long it will take to reach the floor. In my preliminary work I discovered that the helicopter requires a few mille-seconds before it reaches its terminal velocity. This means we will have to start the timing of the helicopter after it has reached its terminal velocity. To avoid visual parallax when timing the helicopter we will focus on a certain point in the background which is level to our eyes and start the timer when the helicopter passes that point. We will add a paper clip to our helicopter after each set of times has been recorded until the helicopter no longer spins and just drops to the floor. ...read more.


is larger when it is heavier, whereas air resistance is the same. This means that the helicopter will still reach terminal velocity, however it will fall faster during terminal velocity. This is because the force pulling the helicopter down is equal to the resistance and air resistance. Key Factors: To make sure that the experiment is fair I will need to: * Only change one factor in the experiment, in this case the number of paperclips on the helicopter * Make sure the helicopter is dropped from the same height each time * Make sure the helicopter is time correctly avoiding visual parallax by making sure the same person times the helicopter, and he focuses on a certain point and only starts the timer when the helicopter passes that point in his vision. * The person timing the helicopter must stand the same distance away from the helicopter each time. Diagram This diagram shows how we will carry out the experiment. Results Time Taken (Seconds) Terminal Velocity/Speed Paper Clips Mass (g) ...read more.


Human reaction rates vary affecting the accuracy of the timings. 2. There may be a drift of air affecting the time take for the helicopter to reach the floor. 3. If allowed a visual parallax could affect the time taken for the helicopter to reach the floor. By looking at my table and my graphs I can see one abnormal result. This is with 2 paperclips attached to the helicopter. The average time is unusually higher than the rest of the results near it, therefore affecting the velocity of the helicopter. I believe this is down to human error when the timer has been started or stopped incorrectly. If I did the experiment again, I would try to improve the accuracy of the results by using other means for timing that helicopter, such as a laser to detect when the helicopter has passed it (similar to a light gate). This would also overcome the problem with a visual parallax. I would also close all windows and doors and make sure that no-one is moving too suddenly near where the experiment is being carried out, to avoid the drift. ...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. The Physics of Paper Helicopters

    The readings will be taken with a constant height of 6m, and mass of 2.84g. Length from middle Time (sec) Velocity (cm) 1 2 3 Ave (m/s) 100 2.73 2.43 2.75 2.64 2.28 80 2.75 2.78 2.69 2.74 2.19 60 2.93 2.95 2.51 2.80 2.15 40 2.87 2.61 2.80 2.76

  2. Investigate how the weight of an object affects the force required to overcome friction.

    This can be done by multiplying its mass by the force of gravity (approximately 9.8N/Kg) o The block of wood will then be placed at start of the strip of P60E sand paper and the small-scale force meter will then be attached to the hook on the wood.

  1. My investigation is about how the number of paperclips added onto a paper spinner ...

    If it is a tough material then it would fall faster because it would weigh more. If I used a different material for each spinner then this would mean that there is a factor that affects my experiment so my results will be less reliable and the results will vary.

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

    As all terminal velocity is, is a maximum speed. This will be measured in cm/s. Apparatus: Retort stand Clamp Boss Stopwatch 2 x 100 cm rulers 5 cake cases (same size) Goggles Safety: As this experiment uses pointy metal objects, which due to the very nature of the project will

  1. Investigate the factors which affect the terminal velocity of a falling object.

    any major temperature changes and left for a few minutes to ensure that the temperature remains stable throughout the experiment. To measure the density of the oil it should be weighed (in kg) in the measuring cylinder on a scale but the mass of the measuring cylinder should also be

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

    Although if the hole is too big air can easily escape from the top leaving the terminal velocity to increase due to the escaping air. 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

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

    Speed (m/s) Average speed (m/s) 10cm 1.03 1.04 1.04 1.04 20cm 1.66 1.66 1.66 1.66 30cm 2.14 2.14 2.16 2.15 40cm 2.51 2.52 2.52 2.52 50cm 2.85 2.85 2.85 2.85 Secondary Experiment As with the primary experiment, we used a light gate to collect another set of results.

  2. I am going to find out what factors affect the Terminal Velocity of an ...

    m 0.0365 11 cm 3 m 0.0266 13 cm 3 m 0.0211 15 cm 3 m 0.0194 These results show that the longer the wing length the faster the paper helicopter falls. This would be a good experiment to show that wing length is dependent on the rate that an object falls.

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