Thursday, 21 February 2013

1.18 describe experiments to investigate the forces acting on falling objects, such as sycamore seeds or parachutes

Dropping parachutes from a given height; this shows us that gravity is acting on them. By increasing the size of the parachute and recording the results we can see that air resistance also has an effect on falling objects; plotting a graph should reveal that bigger surface area takes more time, from which we can infer that air resistance acts on the falling objects.

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    1. . Get five different sizes of sycamore seeds
      . Roughly measure, and label them with, their surface area by multiplying the length by width
      . Hold one at the top of a meter ruler
      . Drop it and time how long it takes to reach the ground
      . Repeat this three times for each of the five seeds
      . Then plot a scatter graph with surface area on the y axis (mm/cm) and time on the x axis (s)
      . You should find that the line of best fit is a diagonal line pointing away from 0, this represents a positive correlation meaning the larger the surface area the longer it took to fall
      . This is because the larger seeds had more surface area to experience air resistance, this is a type of friction that opposes gravity, therefore slowing down the time taken for gravity to bring them to the ground.

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