Investigating Whether the Size of Cones Affects their Time to Fall from a Height


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Investigating Whether the Size of Cones Affects their Time to Fall from a Height


Safety: I will need to make sure when making and dropping cones that
all precautions are considered, e.g. careful use of compass, scissors,
etc.

Fair test: I will ensure the height remains the same and that I use
the same cones throughout.



Equipment/Apparatus
===================

To do this practical I will need the following items:

Ø A4 Paper - to make cones

Ø Pencil - to draw circle and record data

Ø Compass - to draw circle

Ø Scissors - to cut circle out

Ø Sellotape - to stick cones

Ø Stop clock - to measure time

Ø Metre ruler - to measure height

Ø Calculator - to calculate averages



Method - Preliminary
====================

* I will use pencil and compass to draw 2 circles on sheets of A4
paper

* I will use scissors to cut the circles out

* I will make 2 cones of similar size but not identical

* I will use sellotape to stick the cones down

* I will use metre ruler to measure 1 metre

* I will use stop clock to measure the time taken for each cone to

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fall

* I will repeat this five times for each cone, and record all data
in a table


Results – Preliminary
---------------------

My results, shown below, would indicate that cones of similar size do
not give conclusive evidence into whether time is affected.
Therefore, I will need to alter my method and make 2 further cones of
extreme sizes, i.e. 1 very small and 1 very large, as well as increase
the height to 2 metres, to ensure a better comparison can be made.

Table of preliminary results

Section

Cone #

1st time/s

2nd time/s

3rd time/s

4th time/s

5th time/s

Average time/s

Prelim

1

Prelim

2


Method – Actual
---------------

Same as before except two changes:

* I will make 2 cones of extreme sizes, 1 very small and 1 very
large

* I will use metre ruler to measure 2 metres


Prediction/Scientific Knowledge
-------------------------------

I predict that the very small cone will fall faster than the very
large cone.

This is due to the forces acting upon each cone, such as weight (=
mass x gravity) and air resistance (refer to diagram below):

When dropped from a height, the weight acting on both cones is the
same; however, the air resistance acting on the small cone is less
than the air resistance acting on the large cone.

This is due to the fact that the small cone has a smaller surface area
than the large cone, which in turn makes is less
aerodynamic/streamlined, and so there are more air particles coming
into contact with the large cone, which in turn slows it down.


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