Investigating Speed's Relationship to Size and Shape

Investigating Speed's Relationship to Size and Shape

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Investigating Speed's Relationship to Size and Shape

Aim

I am investigating if the speed of an object changes when the size or
shape is changed.

I will investigate this through 2 experiments.

Apparatus list

Stopwatch

20 pieces of tracing paper

Scales

Preliminary work

Before my main experiment, I decided to do some practices to determine
how high to drop the paper from. I started at 1m and noticed
immediately that the time it took to reach the ground was too quick
for us to take a reading in. I decided to increase the height by 1m.
When I dropped the paper from 2m, I was able to take an accurate
reading and decided to increase the height again by 1m. I then
encountered a problem being that it was too dangerous to drop the
paper from this height, so I chose to drop the paper from a height of
2m.

Plan

Experiment 1: An A4 piece of paper will be dropped from a height of
2m, 3 times. When the paper is released, a stopwatch will be used to
time how long it takes to reach the floor, and this will be recorded
in a table. The average of the three results will be found and the
speed will be calculated. The paper will then be halved to A5 size and
the above will be repeated. I will then fold the paper and repeat the
experiment as many times as possible. 2.389g

Prediction

I predict that as the size of the paper decreases, the time taken for
the paper to reach the ground also decreases. I think this because as
the size of paper decreases, the surface area exposed to Upthrust also
decreases. Gravity stays the same throughout the experiment because
the mass of the object never changes, but Upthrust does change. This
results in gravity being more dominant on an A5 piece of paper than an
A4 piece of paper, resulting in the time taken for the A5 piece of

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paper to reach the floor being quicker than the A4 piece of paper
takes to reach the floor. So as the size of the paper decreases, the
amount of Upthrust decreases, therefore the time taken for the paper
to reach the ground also decreases.

Fair Test

I will make this experiment a fair test because the only variable I am
controlling is the size of the paper. By using the same stopwatch
throughout the experiment, I will be ensuring valid results every
time. I will also use the same piece of paper because if I used a
different piece of paper then it may have a slight difference such as
mass or surface area, which would result in different results.

Results

Area (cm2)

Time taken (secs)

Average (secs)

Ave Speed (m/s)

621.60 (A4)

3.06

3.43

2/3.43 = 0.58

621.60 (A4)

3.37

621.60 (A4)

3.85

310.80 (A5)

2.00

2.08

2/2.08 = 0.96

310.80 (A5)

2.13

310.80 (A5)

2.10

155.93 (A6)

1.53

1.69

2/1.69 = 1.18

155.93 (A6)

1.59

155.93 (A6)

1.94

73.44 (A7)

1.18

1.16

2/1.16 = 1.72

73.44 (A7)

1.10

73.44 (A7)

1.19


[IMAGE]


Analysis

My prediction was right. From my graph, I can see that as the size of
the paper decreases, the time taken for the paper to reach the ground
also decreases. This is because, as I said in my prediction, when the
size of the paper decreases, there is less surface area exposed to
wind resistance and Upthrust, therefore the time taken for the paper
to fall to the ground is decreased also.

Evaluation

Although in my experiment, I have no anomalous results, the results I
recorded are not as accurate as possible. This is partly due to the
stopwatch. It could have been more accurate because we recorded to 2
decimal places, but if we recorded to 3 decimal places, our results
would have been more accurate. If I did the experiment again, I would
make it better by using more accurate equipment such as a computer
controlled stopwatch that would give precise results every time. I
could extend this investigation by raising the height of where I
release the paper from and see what effect this would have on the
speed of an object.

Apparatus List

1000ml plastic tube

50 cm of thread

2g of plasticine

Scales

Stopwatch

Preliminary work

Before my main experiment, I decided to do some practices to determine
how much plasticine to use and also how much water to use. I started
by half filling the plastic tube with water and using 5g of
plasticine. I found that the time it took for the plasticine to reach
the bottom was far too quick for me too take a reading in. So, I
increased the amount of water, by filling the tube to the top. I then
dropped the plasticine again. I still found that the reading was too
quick so I decreased the amount of plasticine I used. I now used 2g of
plasticine and found that the reading I took was much easier and more
accurate because I was not delaying. I had another problem which was
that every time I dropped the plasticine in the water, I found it hard
to get it out, so I attached a piece of string to it and solved this
problem.

Plan

Experiment 2: Fill a 1000ml tube to 5cm from the top. Then measure
from the bottom of the tube to the top of the water. Using accurate
scales, measure 2g of plasticine. Attach a piece of string to the
plasticine. Mould the plasticine into a torpedo shape and measure the
diameter. Place the plasticine above the water and when released start
the stopwatch. Stop when the plasticine reaches the bottom. Do not
release the thread when dropping the plasticine. Hold the very end of
the plasticine. Now repeat this three times. Record the results in a
table and calculate the average. Then change the shape of the
plasticine by making it into a flatter shape such as a cylinder.
Repeat the above as many times as possible.

Prediction

I predict that as the shape of the plasticine becomes flatter, the
time taken for the plasticine to reach the bottom will increase. I
think this because when the plasticine is a torpedo shape, the water
resistance will be smaller than if the plasticine was a cube shape.
Therefore, if the water resistance is less, the time taken for the
plasticine to reach the bottom will also be less. Also when the
plasticine is a torpedo shape there is less Upthrust acting upon it if
the plasticine was a cube shape. This will also result in a quicker
time for the torpedo.

Fair Test

I will make this experiment a fair test because the only variable I am
controlling is the shape of the plasticine. By using the same
stopwatch throughout the experiment, I will be ensuring valid results
every time. I will also use the same piece of plasticine because if I
used a different piece of plasticine then it may have a slight
difference such as density, which would result in void results.

Results

In my experiment, the height of water I used was 39.15cm.

39.15cm = 0.3915m

Shape

Area (mm)

Time taken (s)

Time taken (s)

Time taken (s)

Ave time (s)

Speed (m/s)

Torpedo

5.5

1.00

1.09

1.09

1.06

0.37

Torpedo

7.9

1.09

1.13

1.18

1.13

0.35

Torpedo

10

1.13

1.20

1.24

1.19

0.33

Torpedo

11

1.32

1.40

1.37

1.36

0.29

Torpedo

15

1.78

1.97

2.06

1.94

0.20

Ave Torpedo

9.88

1.34

0.29

Cube

7

1.22

0.82

0.99

1.01

0.39

Cube

10

1.03

0.97

1.19

1.06

0.37

Cube

12

1.33

1.37

1.34

1.35

0.29

Cube

14

2.00

1.94

1.91

1.95

0.20

Cube

15

1.97

2.39

2.25

2.20

0.18

Ave Cube

11.60

1.51

0.26

Flat

20

3.56

3.72

3.28

3.52

0.11

Flat

22

3.92

3.90

4.03

3.95

0.1

Flat

25

4.25

4.10

4.18

4.18

0.09

Ave Flat

22.34

3.88

0.10


[IMAGE]


Analysis

My prediction was right. From my graph I can see that as the shape of
the plasticine becomes flatter, the time taken for it to reach the
bottom of the water also decreases. This is because, as I said in my
prediction, when the plasticine is a torpedo shape, the water
resistance will be smaller than if the plasticine was a cube shape.
Therefore, if the water resistance is less, the time taken for the
plasticine to reach the bottom will also be less. Also when the
plasticine is a torpedo shape there is less Upthrust acting upon it if
the plasticine was a cube shape. This will also result in a quicker
time for the torpedo.

Evaluation

Although in my experiment, I have no anomalous results, the results I
recorded are not as accurate as possible. This is partly due to the
stopwatch. It could have been more accurate because we recorded to 2
decimal places, but if we recorded to 3 decimal places, our results
would have been more accurate. If I did the experiment again, I would
make it better by using more accurate equipment such as a computer
controlled stopwatch that would give precise results every time. I
could extend this investigation by raising the height from which I
dropped the plasticine from and also by using a different liquid
instead of water such as a soft drink.
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