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investigate the size of craters in sand when a marble is dropped

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Introduction

Physics Coursework – Jamie Hannath                                                                 11JWT

PHYSICS COURSEWORK

Aim

My aim is to investigate the size of craters in sand when a marble is dropped into the sand from different heights.

Apparatus

  • Metal container
  • Sand
  • Marble
  • 1 metre rulers
  • 30cm ruler

Method

  • First of all I collected all the equipment I needed.
  • Next I put the tub of sand next to the wall and leaned the ruler up against the wall resting on the sand.
  • I then took the marble and dropped it into the sand from different heights.
  • After each drop I took my 15cm ruler, measured the diameter of each crater and then smoothed the surfaced the surface of the sand out.
  • I then recorded my results and from the diameter I worked out the area of each crater.
  • I repeated this experiment three times.

Variables

  • Height dropped
  • Size of marble
  • Type of sand
  • Amount of sand

The variables that I will keep the same are the size of the marble, the type of sand and the amount of sand. The variable I will change is the height at which the marble is dropped. I believe that this will give me the best results.

Prediction

I believe that the greater the height from which the marble is dropped the greater the area of the crater in the sand will be.

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Middle

Results

Test 1

Height from which the marble is dropped (cm's)

Radius (cm's)

Area (cm^2)

10

1.4

6.16

35

1.95

11.95

60

2.15

14.52

85

2.3

16.62

100

2.35

17.35

115

2.51

19.79

Test 2

Height from which the marble is dropped (cm's)

Radius (cm's)

Area (cm^2)

10

1.35

6.16

35

1.6

8.04

60

2.2

15.21

85

2.3

16.62

100

2.3

16.62

115

2.5

19.63

Test 3

Height

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Conclusion

My prediction saying ‘the higher from which the marble was dropped the bigger the area of the crater would be’ was correct because when the marble is falling it builds up more speed due to acceleration. The more speed it builds up the more force is being used accelerating it which is then exerted on the sand. The more force exerted onto the sand the more sand it is able to push away therefore making a bigger crater. My other prediction saying ‘after a certain height from which the marble was being dropped the area of the crater would stay the same’ was correct because when a free-falling object first sets off it has much more force accelerating it than resistance slowing it down. As the speed increases the resistance builds up. This gradually reduces the acceleration until eventually the resistance force is equal to the accelerating force and then it won’t be able to accelerate anymore. This means it will have reached its terminal velocity and wont go any faster. This means that the crater will stay the same from a certain height and above.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

The Science Coordination Group – Revision Guide for GCSE Double Science, Physics Higher Level.

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