- Level: International Baccalaureate
- Subject: Physics
- Word count: 1891
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:
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 | Trial 2 Diameter | Trial 3 Diameter | Mass of the “meteor” |
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 | Trial 2 Diameter | Trial 3 Diameter | Mass of the “meteor” |
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:
and .
All things considered, the equations need to be put out of the exponential to a logarithmic form to yield a straight line.
Therefore the graph will be vs. , 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 |
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 |
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 |
50.00 | 41.17 |
60.00 | 40.79 |
70.00 | 40.12 |
80.00 | 39.10 |
90.00 | 38.09 |
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.
This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Physics section.
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