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

The Affect of Mass on the Time It Takes an Object To Fall

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Colin Wick                1/12/09

Period 4                IB/AP Physics

The Effect of Mass on the Time It Takes for an Object to Fall

        How does the mass of a paper helicopter affect the time it takes the helicopter to fall to the floor?  We believe that the more massive and in turn the heavier the helicopter, the faster it will fall because the increase of mass increases the downward force of gravity, weight, therefore causing the helicopter to accelerate at a higher rate and in turn fall faster.  The set-up for this experiment will include a paper helicopter dropped from a measured, and constant height.  The helicopter will gain mass through paperclips for each data point, and the time that the helicopter takes to fall the measured distance will be recorded for five separate trials.  This data will then be graphed to discover the effect that mass has on the time it takes an object to fall a measured distance.  The only variable that will be manipulated during the experiment will be the mass of the helicopter, while the rotor size of the helicopter will be unchanged because changing the size of the rotor blades would change the air resistance the helicopter encounters and would therefore change the net force acting on the helicopter.

...read more.

Middle

Distance: 184cm

Time Uncertainty for Each Trial: ±0.1s

           Time (s)

Total Mass (g)

Uncertainty (±g)

Trial 1

Trial 2

Trial 3

Trail 4

Trial 5

Average

Avg. Uncertainty (±s)

1.5

0.1

2.15

2.21

2.14

2.15

2.14

2.158

0.152

2.3

0.1

1.67

1.66

1.65

1.63

1.66

1.654

0.116

3.1

0.1

1.37

1.39

1.31

1.35

1.37

1.358

0.148

3.9

0.1

1.13

1.1

1.15

1.11

1.16

1.13

0.13

4.7

0.1

0.95

0.91

0.96

0.98

0.99

0.958

0.148

image15.png

This graph shows that there is an inverse power relationship between the total mass of an object and the time it takes to hit the ground because the variable x is to a negative power close to –0.5.  Furthermore, the relationship shown on the graph is not a perfect inverse square root relationship because the exponent is not exactly –0.5.

...read more.

Conclusion

        There are two important improvements that could be made to this lab that would dramatically increase the accuracy of the results.  The first would get rid of the systematic error encountered.  By simply using a level or a protractor to check the angle of the PVC pipe with the floor and make sure it is ninety degrees, then the height of the PVC pipe would be certain.  The second would be to set up an infrared laser system. We could set up two lasers, one above the other, and measure the distance between the two beams, and then connect a timer to the system that would start when the first beam was broken and then stop when the second beam was broken.  This would not only get rid of the systematic error of not knowing the true height of the drop zone, but it would more importantly eliminate the random error of starting and stopping the timer and even the release of the helicopter.  With the lasers, the start and stop times of the fall would be much closer to exact, and the helicopter could be dropped above the first beam and be allowed to fly through it because the time would not start until the first beam is broken, and there is a measured distance between the two beams.

Page  of

...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. How does the mass of the paper helicopter affect the drop time of the ...

    Another control of this experiment would be having the same person timing the experiment for every trial. To keep the data as consistent as possible, the experiment will be using the same stopwatch, electric scale and paper helicopter each time.

  2. Investigate the Size of Craters in Sand Due to Dropped Object.

    and it is also followed by kinetic energy. The kinetic energy will increase (KE) as potential energy increase. Assuming the energy throughout the dropped is conserved which indicates that PE is equal to KE and no energy loses to the surroundings. The velocity of the slotted mass dropped at each height and it impulse can be obtained.

  1. This lab will test the effects of the surface area factor on acceleration due ...

    What could have caused such a great difference between the theoretical and the experimental results? Although there are two noteworthy uncertainties in the calculations- the surface area uncertainty which ranged from 0.87cm2 to 2.44cm2, the time uncertainty and reaction time uncertainty may have at most put us 0.30s (�0.01s of instrumental error and 0.25s reaction time error)

  2. How does the mass of a spherical object and the height from which it ...

    Pour sand into a container to a depth of .035 m. 2. Put the meter stick on the inside wall of the Tupperware container such that it is oriented vertically with the 1 m mark on the top. Tape it to the sides in order to maintain stability and consistency.

  1. Bifilar Suspension - the technique will be applied to find the mass moment ...

    indicating the presence of systematic error in the investigation. * The graph above has a reasonable RMSE value 0.04628 indicating a well-defined relationship between the effective distance (D) and time period (T). * As the graph shows non- linear relation and in order to get a linear fit graph, so the data has been processed by calculating 1/T and then plotted 1/T vs.

  2. HL Physics Revision Notes

    cars further Increasing the efficiency of coal-burning [plants Replacing coal-burning power plants with natural gas-fired plants Considering methods of capturing and storing the carbon dioxide known as carbon capture and storage (CCS) Increasing the amount of power produced by wind and solar generators Considering nuclear power Stopping deforestation Being energy

  1. How does the sinkage depth of a tyre affect its rolling resistance ?

    How does the sinkage depth of the tire on sand bed affect the rolling the cycle faces? Although the rolling resistance of the tire of an automobile is dependent on various factors, major components of rolling friction are often seen as the air pressure, temperature of the surface, The air

  2. Investigation into the relationship between acceleration and the angle of free fall downhill

    exact result; to control this, the brick was positioned under the starting point and it was assumed that the height measured was in a 90° angle with both the starting point mark and the surface. The point where the brick made contact with the ground was marked and so it was easier to measure the length.

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