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A crater is formed when a meteor for outer space strikes the lunar
surface. The force of the impact obliterates the meteorite and
displaces part of the moons surface, pushing the edges surrounding
rock. At the same time, more displaced material shoots outward from
I will simulate this in the classroom by using a margarine tub full of
sand and using different heights to represent the distance it
travelled. I will then drop the balls from my chosen heights.
The sand = The moons surface.
The balls =The meteors
All the variables that I can change and what can affect my experiment
* The height in which I drop the ball from.
* The amount of sand in the tub.
* The size of the different individual balls.
* The weight of the balls.
* Speed of which the balls are travelling at.
* The surface type
* The angle of which the ball hits the ground.
All of these changes could affect my final results. I will have to
take these into consideration when doing my experiment.
I have chosen to do the different heights that I drop the ball from. I
will use only one type of ball to keep my results the same. In the
experiment I will be measuring the diameter of the crater and see how
the height effects this.
I will measure the diameter of the creator using a compass then
measure the width of the compass against an accurate ruler.
1 X Retort stand.
1 X Margarine tub.
1 X steel ball bearing 16.7g
1 X 1 metre ruler.
1 X compass.
2 cm of sand in a 50g margarine tub.
· Collect all the equipment that is listed in the apparatus list
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"The Effect of the Height of a Crater on Its Diameter." 123HelpMe.com. 27 Feb 2020
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· Set the equipment out as in the labelled diagram.
· In the experiment I am going to be changing the height of which the
ball is dropped from.
· I am going to be using the ball bearing to do this investigation.
· You will then raise the ball to the required height. The required
heights are going to be 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 cm.
· For each height measure the diameter of the crater that is formed.
· After doing this, repeat the experiment twice again to make sure the
results are around the same so I can check if the results are right.
· After doing all the heights and writing the results down you then
need to make an average of the results from using this equation:
Add the three results together
3 (the number of tests)
In order to make this investigation as fair as possible I am going to
keep everything the same in the experiment.
* The amount of sand in the tub.
* The size of the different individual balls.
* The weight of the balls.
* Speed of which the balls are travelling at.
* The surface type.
The only thing I am going to be changing is going to be the height of
the ball in which it is dropped.
I predict that in this experiment, the higher the ball bearing the
greater the size of the creator. The scientific knowledge which
supports this is that the ball bearing has gravitational potential
energy and so when it is even higher up it gains even more energy and
this has a greater force on the sand when it hits the sands surface.
When on object is in the air it has potential gravitational energy the
higher up the object the more energy it gains. When a falling object
hits the ground kinetic energy that it has is transferred to the
ground and if the force of the fall is large enough, a crater would be
created. In this investigation I am going to try to find out the
effect of the height of the object is dropped from on the size of the
crater formed in a tub of sand.
This is showing the energy transfer that happens when a falling object
hits the ground.
In essence we are going to change the amount of potential energy.
In the object that we are dropping to see and observe its affect on
the craters produced.
Energy cannot be destroyed it can only be changed into a different
The heights that I have chosen to do are 10 20 30 40 50 and 60. I have
chosen to do these because I think that these will give me my best
results when I come to do my experiments.
Before I can obtain my results from the investigation a trial run
needs to be made to verify that the experiment is set up the right way
and we could make our results even more accurate with improvement.
After setting up the equipment I have found that the way my experiment
is set up is a very good way for my experiment. It is going to be set
up just as in the labelled diagram.
To see which ball gives me the best results I have chosen these three
different types of balls. I have chosen a wooden ball because I think
that it is very light in weight, I have chosen steel because it is the
heaviest out of all the choices and I have also chosen glass because
it weighs between the other two balls.
Table of results:
Diameter of crater im cm.
From looking at this it shows me that the steel ball bearing has given
me the best results because from this table it shows me that it gives
me a wider range of results. I have chosen to use this ball as I said
in my method earlier on. The experiment the way it is set up is a good
way. I have chosen to change my heights because I think this will give
me a wider range of results.
The heights I have chosen to do are
20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80 and 90.
The final results of the experiment.
Diameter of crater in CM
Height in CM
Potential energy in J
I have chosen to work out the potential energy as well so then this
will let me prove my prediction more and also to check it is correct
with the scientific theory.
This is the higher the object the bigger the potential energy.
To work out the potential energy you have to use this sum:
Potential energy = Mass X Height X Gravity
Gravity is always 10N/KG unless it is stated otherwise.
From this experiment I have learnt that the higher an object is the
more potential energy it has. I have also learnt how the energy is
used and given off like in the energy transfer diagram. I have also
learnt that a lot of things can affect the diameter of the craters
From looking at the graph it shows me that when the ball gets higher
the diameter of the crater gets bigger. When it reaches the 50cm mark
the results start to level off maybe reaching its maximum diameter.
My prediction was 'I predict that in this experiment, the higher the
ball bearing the greater the size of the creator. The scientific
knowledge which supports this is that the ball bearing has
gravitational potential energy and so when it is even higher up it
gains even more energy and this has a greater force on the sand when
it hits the sands surface.'
This was right because from looking at the two graphs they both show
me that the higher the ball the bigger the crater gets and also the
bigger the potential energy that it gains. Also the graph I drew looks
a bit like the one in my prediction the only thing is that on the
results graph is it starts to level off but in the one I drew in my
prediction it doesn't.
This is because when on object is in the air it has potential
gravitational energy the higher up the object the more energy it
gains. This is what the potential energy graph has shown me. An object
will reach its maximum amount of energy at one stage like as in my
graph when it starts to level off I should have improved this by doing
more results in my experiment to see where its maximum amount of
This experiment was good because it tells me all the things that I
needed to know for this experiment which it 'Does the height of a
crater affect the diameter of the crater produced?' the answer to this
is yes because the higher the ball is dropped from the bigger the
crater is that is produced.
The investigation / experiment worked well I did not have any problems
with the experiment the hardest thing was keeping everything fair. I
had problems with measuring the width of the craters because with
using the compasses it was not really an accurate way of measuring
because I couldn't really see where the edges of the craters started
and finished. I could improve this by using a different material
instead of sand, which will indent like the same but keep its shape so
you can take it out and the shape will still be there indented in so
then it will be easier to measure the diameter of the crater. Also
instead of using a ruler then I will then be able to use the
Vermeer Callipers, these will then measure the crater diameter more
accurately to the nearest mm also I could measure the depth of the
crater with these. These could be more observations that I could look
at with the affect of the height of the balls are dropped from. If I
was not able to uses any of this equipment then I would then get a
bigger margarine tub to put the sand into so then I will then be able
to get the ruler in the tub and do a straight measurement from that
instead of with the compasses. To improve this investigation I could
do it in more detail I could use light sensors to do the experiment
because then I will be able to see what speed they travel at before it
hits the ground this will then join in with the other results I have