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

To investigate how the weight of an object affects its terminal velocity as it is falling

Extracts from this document...



To investigate how the weight of an object affects its terminal velocity as it is falling.


I predict that when the weight of a falling object is increased the terminal velocity will also increase.

I think this because as you increase an objects weight it has a larger downwards force.  In order for the object to travel at a constant speed, i.e. terminal velocity, another force must match the downward force.  This force is air resistance.  So to make air resistance the same size as the downward force, the object has to be travelling at a fast enough velocity.  A heavier weight will accelerate to a higher terminal velocity before these two forces are balanced than a lighter one.  This is because air resistance increases when velocity increases as more air particles collide with the object, which slows the acceleration of the object down.  So the heavier the object the

...read more.


If the weight were too large, the cone would drop too quickly for the timer and if it were too light it would not make much difference between the falling times.  We found that using one-gram masses were suitable.

For this experiment a 20 cm (diameter) cone and one-gram masses will be used.  I think the cone should be dropped from a height of 2.00 metres, as this is a good distance to time without a large effect from reaction times.

Cone Making


A circle is drawn (using a compass) with a diameter of 20 cm and then cut out.  A straight line is drawn from the centre of the circle to the edge and then cut along.  Section A is put over section B and stuck down to make a cone shape.  If sections A and B are small the cone will be quite shallow so there will be more air resistance making it easy to time its falling time.


...read more.


"c5">The cone has to be dropped from exactly the same height (tip of cone at the 2.00m point) every time to make a fair test.  Also, make sure the cone does not come into contact with anything while it is falling, as this will alter the results.

So that this experiment is reliable it should be repeated at least twice.  This is because times may be different, caused by reaction times.  An average time can be made for each weight.  The more repeats that are made the more reliable this experiment is going to be.  When repeating, the weights have to stay exactly the same as the first time so not to make the results inaccurate.


Drop no.

1st Time (s)

2nd Time (s)

3rd Time (s)

Average Time (s)


























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

    / 2.5 / 2.6 2.62 8.428 4.1 / 4.3 / 4.1 4.17 3 / 2.9 / 3 2.97 ANALYSING RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: By looking at my results in the above tables, it has been found that as the force holding the two surfaces together (i.e.

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

    Method: The equipment will be set up as shown in the diagram. At first one cake case shall be dropped from varying heights, and the time it takes for the case to hit the ground shall be measured. To be sure that the time recorded is only for when the

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

    A metre rule should be used to mark every 10cm on the measuring cylinder with a marker pen. Fill up the measuring cylinder with oil, leaving a 5cm gap at the top to stop any spillages. A thermometer should be placed inside the cylinder to be sure that there aren't

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

    We may need to take results again if a factor that should be kept constant is accidentally changed, or if the trolley is knocked for example. On the other hand, it may be interesting to keep these anomalous results so they can be explained in the analysis.

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

    I also decided to test how the weight of the paper helicopter affected the speed that it fell. Weight Results 1 Paperclip 0.0303 2 Paperclip 0.0240 3 Paperclip 0.0206 4 Paperclip 0.0193 5 Paperclip 0.0166 These results show that when more weight is added to the paper helicopter it accelerates to a higher speed as the Terminal Velocity is higher.

  2. Motion of an object as it slides down a slope at different angles to ...

    - 1/2 gt2 = -h (where h is the height of the table. It is negative because where the particle started to be dropped is taken as the 0 point, hence the vertical displacement it has travelled when it reaches the floor would be negative in reference to the starting place)

  1. An Investigation To Find Out What Effect The Weight Of A Falling Object Has ...

    Hold the paper cutlet one metre above the metre ruler. This is because terminal velocity is reached after a little while, not immediately after it has began to fall. By dropping it from one meter above the height from which it will be timed, it will have reached terminal velocity by then.

  2. Investigate how the weight of an object affects the distance it can travel.

    Diagram of apparatus Method 1. Set up the equipment as shown in the diagram on the floor. 2. Mark with chalk where the legs of the stool are and the ruler. 3. Using the Newton meter, pull back the elastic band with a force of 10N.

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