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The purpose of this lab is to examine impact craters. Impact craters occur when a high velocity object collides with a larger body

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Introduction

John Paul Chunga

Mr. Arce-Larreta

1st Black

IB Physics SL Lab

Internal Assessment

Introduction

The purpose of this lab is to examine impact craters. Impact craters occur when a high velocity object collides with a larger body. The collision results in a circular depression crater into the larger body. Craters like these described are results of meteor strikes on planets and can yield depressions that are quite large.  The craters occur on our planet along with the moon and all other planets in our solar system. The physical world involves craters and should thus be explored.

Therefore an investigation must be done in the formation of craters.  This formation will be examined through the basic properties, which they are formed. The energy from the object coming into impact can be compared to the volume of the crater create since deformation of the surface is the dominant process. Therefore since the volume of the crater is equal to the diameter cubed, the diameter cubed is set equal to the kinetic energy produced from the collision. This representation is then solved to find the diameter and yields the equation:

image10.png

...read more.

Middle

70.00

27.95

28.16

26.46

80.00

28.02

29.78

27.87

90.00

30.35

30.67

28.32

Sandbox with 350 mL of Water

Height

(cm)

Trial 1

Diameter

image12.png

Trial 2

Diameter

image12.png

Trial 3

Diameter

image12.png

Mass of the “meteor”

image13.png

50.00

34.16

34.39

33.95

45.92

60.00

35.43

34.90

35.12

70.00

35.86

35.35

36.11

80.00

36.54

36.77

36.94

90.00

37.86

37.69

37.99

Sandbox with 700 mL of Water

Height

(cm)

Trial 1

Diameter

image14.png

Trial 2

Diameter

image14.png

Trial 3

Diameter

image14.png

Mass of the “meteor”

image13.png

50.00

41.32

41.20

40.98

45.92

60.00

40.95

40.65

40.78

70.00

40.23

40.11

40.03

80.00

39.06

39.22

39.02

90.00

38.14

37.79

38.34

Measurements were taken from the edges of the depressed landing pad.

Occasionally, an obviously wrong diameter was obtained, but these were ignored.

Analysis

Now under analysis, one must consider the two equations derived:

image15.png and image16.png.

All things considered, the equations need to be put out of the exponential to a logarithmic form to yield a straight line.

image17.png

Therefore the graph will be image19.png vs. image20.png, yielding 3 graphs and calculations.

Before the graph, the averages of the trials at each height must be taken to yield a singular number to graph. Using this number, the averages will be put in the new natural log equations.

The table below shows the averages of the trials at the heights for each sandbox.

Sandbox With No Water

Height (cm)

Average Diameter image12.png

50.00

25.85

60.00

26.93

70.00

27.52

80.00

28.56

90.00

29.78

Sandbox With 350 mL of Water

Height (cm)

Average Diameter image12.png

50.00

34.17

60.00

35.15

70.00

35.77

80.00

36.75

90.00

37.85

Sandbox With 700 mL of Water

Height (cm)

Average Diameter image12.png

50.00

41.17

60.00

40.79

70.00

40.12

80.00

39.10

90.00

38.09

...read more.

Conclusion

Additionally, there should have been more trials taken. Three trials was serviceable and showed a trend that was matched with an average, but the more trials the more accuracy. The results could have been affected had a sixth or tenth trial had taken place, but since there were so many sandboxes this would not be possible. This highlights the need for the simplification in terrain and therefore the limiting of terrains created by the sandboxes.

Finally the last improvement would occur with the measuring of the craters. The metal calipers would yield numbers that were useable, but it would be more accurate to have a different way to measure it. Molds that solidify the diameter of the crater would be useful in yielding accurate results. Still, this metal caliper error could be nullified by more trials on a singular sandbox.

Overall the experiment was quite the success since it validated the hypothesis posed and shed light on the formation of craters, which is a long misunderstood aspect of physical geography.

...read more.

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