• 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.

    sand paper, the gradient is therefore equal to the coefficient of friction as long as the units for each axis is in Newtons (N). The following are gradient calculations and the points I am using have been clearly marked on the graphs.

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

    This extra equipment made us sure that our results were accurate and could be counted on. Thanks to the rapid speed of light, this device is extremely sensitive and can measure speed to a very fine degree. For our experiment, we didn�t require it to be as accurate as the

  2. Investigate a factor that might affect the size of a crater made by a ...

    > A small rule with millimetre measurements for measuring crater depth > 2 large meter rule for measuring heights > Access to chairs and benches for dropping the object from higher heights. Plan * Firstly, get all the equipment together, and then take the tray of sand and pour onto it the 150ml of tap water from the beaker.

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

    The test that I decided to do for my final experiment was to find out how the speed that the paper helicopter falls at is affected when the wing length is changed. I believe that this would give me the most accurate results and could be dealt with fairly.

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

    there is acceleration. When an object gains velocity a frictional force opposes the weight of the object and this force grows as velocity increases. When F=W the resultant force is 0 and there is no acceleration. The terminal velocity has been reached.

  1. I will investigate the change of velocity and acceleration of a laterally moving object ...

    2m2gh m2 This would mean that the m2s will cancel out, proving that the mass of an object has no effect on its falling speed (as confirmed by Galileo). This is not true, however, when there is a constant added to the denominator.

  2. How Fast Does a Paper Cone Fall?

    All cones have to be dropped from the same height and be accurately measured, ensuring the sources of evidence are suitable. Plan of procedure, Six paper cones are to be made, one with radius of 2cm, one with radius of 4cm, one with 6cm, one with 8cm, one with 10cm and a final one with radius of 12cm.

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