To find out if the motion of an elastic band changes the tension, by the rate of its extension

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Kirandeep Banga.                           Year 11 Physics Assessment.


The aim of the investigation is to find out if the motion of an elastic band changes the tension, by the rate of its extension. So in other words if an elastic band is extended to 20cm, will it move at a greater distance once its catapulted through the air, then a band which is say extended to 10cm, and if so why?

Is the height achieved by the band, related to the amount of tension that exists within the band while its being extended, before it’s catapulted?


To answer the questions asked above, I plan to carry out an investigation, in which I will catapult an elastic band in to the air, which will be extended from various extensions, I will then proceed to measure the distance travelled by each new extension of the elastic band, using a meter rule, and from my result determine certain trends from the graph to answer the questions asked above and to conclude my predictions made for the overall experiment.

The length at which the elastic band will be extended to, will start from an extension of 0.02m  , and will continue all the way up to 0.08m. Two meter sticks will be cello taped to the wall so that when the elastic band is catapulted, the distance travelled by the band can be measured from the meter stick. The elastic band will be catapulted off the end of another meter stick, in front of the ones that are taped to the wall. The band will be flung off the end of a meter stick, because the extension of the band can be measured easily using the units along the side of the meter rule. The height reached at each extension of the band will be recorded in a table of results along with a row of predicted heights at which the band may reach with each extension.

To obtain the best and most accurate reading as possible, we had someone to stand on a stool to take the reading as the band was flung in to the air. Each extension will be repeated four times, in order to give an average height for each extension made to the band.

We also took precaution in that we wore safety goggles while the band was being catapulted, to prevent any injury to the eye.

Preliminary Experiment.

In order to obtain the best results possible, we carried out some preliminary work in order to identify appropriate ranges and values, to be used in the final experiment.

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The 1st stage of my preliminary work was to find a suitable type of elastic band to use within the experiment. Ideally we needed a band that would be able to be extended easily, and that could travel at such a speed, so that a reading can be obtained easily and to the best accuracy. I collected a number of different sizes and width elastic bands and catapulted them of the end of a meter rule against a wall. I chose from a choice of a

  • Short, thin elastic band
  • A short thick, elastic band
  • A long thin ...

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