# Investigating Speed's Relationship to Size and Shape

# Investigating Speed's Relationship to Size and Shape

**Length:** 1247 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

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More ↓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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__123HelpMe.com__. 23 Feb 2020

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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.