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'To investigate whether the amount of paper cup cake holders affects the time taken to fall a certain distance'.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Cup Cake : Terminal Velocity Coursework: Darren Preston

‘To investigate whether the amount of paper cup cake holders affects the time taken to fall a certain distance’

Plan

When I do this experiment to find the terminal velocity I will drop 1 cake cup from a certain height ( which will be kept constant throughout the experiment.) When the cake cup is dropped a stop watch will start, then will be stopped when the cake cup hits the ground. I will then repeat this experiment using 2 cake cups, then three and so on. Altogether I will take 10 different weight readings, each weight reading done 3 times, so I can have a wide range of accurate results a total of 30 giving me a spread to plot on a graph.When doing the experiment, to make sure it is fair I will do the following things: Make sure the cake cup is dropped from the same height each time, if it wasn’t then the results would be inaccurate. I will make sure the same person times the cake cup falling, this is because different people have different reactions. We will keep the same sized cake cups, as a different surface areas would lead to wrong results ( I will presume that the cake cups I use will weigh the same). When doing the experiment I will make sure there is nothing that could affect my results E.

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Middle

3.31

3.02image00.png

3.24

2

2.39

2.05image00.png

2.38

3

1.95

1.95

1.99

4

1.66

1.7

1.73

5

1.59

1.49

1.53

6

1.38

1.43

1.49

7

1.38

1.43

1.38

8

1.34

1.38

1.33

9

1.27

1.51image00.png

1.21

10

1.20

1.26

1.17

The results above show all 3 attempts in order to gain an accurate average to be able to plot a graph to simplify the results collectively.

image02.pngimage01.png

The graph shows a steady decrease in the time take for the cups to drop as more weight is added. If we were to increase the amount further then the graph would continue to form a steady slight curve until it made an end with a drop closer to 0.5 m/s. (marked with a star) There were however some anomalous results during the experiment and these have been highlighted in the results table(figure 1.)with an underline. Also another observation was that there were also some results that stood out according to there row, this means that they do not follow a pattern and seem out of place where they stand. These can be seen marked with a star.

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Conclusion

Another problem that occurred was that when the cake cup fall though the air there was some movement. The cup tended to sway from side to side which meant there would not be a constant area,(meaning the surface are constantly changing) which would obviously effect our results as there would be extra movement from side to side. If I were to do the experiment again, it would be hard to eliminate this error. The only way this could be slightly improved would be to ensure the best conditions possible to do the experiment in (a wind and draft free place.)After I had plotted my graph I found that there were one or two anomalous results, and this could have been because of any of the errors above. I re-tested this result and my new result fitted in better than the original result. I can conclude that the terminal velocity does depend on the weight, and this can be clearly seen when looking at my graph which follows a steady decline in the time take for the cups to drop. If I had decided to use the way it was dropped as variable then my results would have differed slightly, this is because the surface area would change if for example they were dropped at an angle then the times maybe would have had a slower decrease. The graph would have looked more or less the same but the time taken for the cups to fall would be longer.

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