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

Investigation of the Rubber Band as Propulsion Device

Extracts from this document...


Amelia Zhang

Design: Investigation of the Rubber Band as a Propulsion Device


        The propulsion ability of a rubber band is determined by numerous factors, which relate directly to the rubber band itself (e.g. spring constant), as well as how the rubber band is projected (e.g. the angle of propulsion, friction on the object…). The factors that will affect the efficiency of a rubber band as a propulsion device are too vast to simply investigate in one single experiment. Ultimately the decisive factor for the efficiency of a rubber band as a propulsion device will depend on the elasticity; hence this experiment will focus on how heat will affect the elasticity of the rubber band.

Research Question:

How does heat affect the elasticity of a rubber band?


        Understanding that the rubber band is a polymer, and will go through stages of glass range, elastic range and viscose range, I am quite sure that at extreme low temperatures, the rubber band will be brittle and break.

...read more.


  1. Rubber bands of the same type, brand, and length.
  2. ruler
  3. Newton Meter
  4. coffee filters
  5. blow dryer
  6. ruler
  7. thermometer
  8. thermocouple
  9. 50 gram weight
  10. glass tube
  11. paper clip
  12. Nitrogen ice
  13. Freezer
  14. timer


  1. Ensuring the rubber bands at room temperature are of same elasticity
  1. Measure the original length of the rubber band.
  2. Hang one side of the rubber band on the Newton meter
  3. Connect the other using a paper clip to the 50 gram weight, note down the force shown on the Newton Meter.
  4. Use a ruler to measure the stretched rubber band
  5. Using Hooke’s law F=-kx, to calculate the elasticity for the rubber band.
  6. Repeat till you obtain 30 rubber bands of the same elasticity.
  1. Creating Environment (Temperatures) for measurements
  1. -100 Degrees
  1. Fill the bottom with nitrogen ice
  2. Leave rubber band suspended in the glass tube for 15 minutes (Careful not to let it come in contact with the nitrogen ice, as it may stick on it)
...read more.


Measure the length of the stretched rubber band after it has hanger for 60 secondsCalculate elasticity using Hooke’s lawRepeat 10 trials


  • The temperature for the 10 trials of each group will be extremely hard to be exact, hence in order to make the data closer to realistic, I will use the average the data obtained from the 10 numbers, and ignore the outliers.
  • The length of the rubber band can not be measured accurately; I will try to obliterate this problem through measuring numerous times and using the average.
  • It is hard to hang the weight on the rubber band for exactly 60 seconds; hence multiple trials and obtaining the average will be used again.


        I will average the data for each temperature group, and use these averages to plot a diagram of heat in relation to elasticity. I will see if I can observe a mathematical relationship, and calculate the function of it. Yet there is another error I only have 5 points of a temperature, and this polymer is almost surely not going to be a linear function, hence 5 points will not be sufficient to graph the graph precisely.

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Physics 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 International Baccalaureate Physics essays

  1. Practical Investigation

    Steps 3-5 are repeated using 20, 26.5 and 33cm as the length of the pendulum 12. Results are recorded RESULTS: Length = 32+0.2cm, amplitude = 6 +0.2cm Weight vs Time of a pendulum Time for 20 swings (s) Mass of bob(g)

  2. Specific latent heat of fusion of ice

    to (334,000 + 1837). Hence, the range of the specific latent heat of fusion of ice from the readings gathered and calculations made in this experiment is 332, 163 JKg-1 to 335, 837 JKg-1. According to the calculations made, I can also conclude that the hypothesis I made earlier is

  1. Hooke's Law

    Four other springs are also used afterwards to prove Hooke's law which states that each spring has its own spring constant. The result of the experiment shows that the experiment is quite successful. Using several different springs in the experiment proves that the spring constant can be calculated using the

  2. IA Lab report rubber bands

    The hypothesis proved to be correct, as the result followed the hypothesis. However, we gained more information than we were searching for, and perhaps we could have tried not to have such a narrow aim with the experiment, but try to get a broader perspective.

  1. Suspension Bridges. this extended essay is an investigation to study the variation in tension ...

    and also the properties of the joined rubber band varied due to the knots. Thus, I settled to use an elastic band similar to the kind used in garments. Hypothesis I predicted the end result of my experiment that as the distance from the rigid support increases, the tension force

  2. Finding the Spring Constant

    The spring constant k = (4?2 /slope) From the best fit line, we determine the slope and the spring constant. The actual value can be quoted from the line equation. i.e. (4?2 /k) = gradient= 1.519 *Note- Only the maximum and minimum gradients need to be taken from the graph.

  1. HL Physics Revision Notes

    Emission spectrum: the spectrum of light that has been emitted by a gas Absorption spectrum: the spectrum of light transmitted through a gas Explain how atomic spectra provide evidence for the quantization of energy in atoms. Spectral lines show that electrons shift orbits releasing or absorbing discrete amounts of energy.

  2. Light Intensity Investigation

    in height of the wooden block and as a result, the light sensor. * The same light mode chosen on the sensor. To control this, we will choose the sunlight mode on the light sensor and ensure that it is not changed to either of the other two buttons.

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