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    Physics Tub investigation Essay

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    An Investigation to determine how a change in mass can affect the traveling distance of a plastic tub. Aim: To investigate weight variation of a plastic tub and how it affects it’s traveling distance when propelled with a constant force using an elastic band. Hypothesis: The tub will travel less distance when the weight of the tub is increased, while keeping the propelling force constant. It is predicted this will happen, as the added weight will slow down the tub due to the increase of downward force (F=ma) acting upon the tub. Newton’s second law states that when the force is pertaining to the object or unbalanced, the object will move.

    This is applied as when the elastic band propels the tub forwards with enough force to unbalance the object causing it move forward. It is predicted that as a greater weight is placed inside the tub this would cause the overall downward force to increase. This downward force is effectively driving the tub towards the ground. As the tub mass increases causing the downward force to increase then we can predict that a greater propelling force is required to move the object. However, in this investigation, the propelling force is kept constant. Keeping the propelling force constant, the tub will then be expected to travel a lesser distance.

    The tub could be so heavy (with constant propelling force) at some point that it would not move at all. Variables: Dependent variables: The dependent variable is the variable that is being measured in an experiment. The distance the tub travels The distance the tub travels is a dependent variable as we are changing the weight added to the tub and measuring the distance the tub travels. We will measure the travel distance with a meter ruler, by lining it up to the tub after it is propelled by the elastic band. Downward force Downward Force is calculated using F=ma.

    The downward force changes as the mass of the tub changes. Acceleration is constant at mm/so Independent variables: An independent variable is the variable that is changed. The Changing weight of the plastic tub The weights will be varied to determine how weight affects the distance the tub travels. The weights of and 500 grams will be used and will be stuck to the base of the tub to secure the weights. Control variables: The plastic tub The same plastic tub will be used to be a control factor. Differing smoothness/ roughness of between tubs could cause some variance in results.

    The length of the The same elastic band will be kept throughout the conduction of tests, (CACM) as efferent bands will contain different amounts of energy or could be different lengths, which may have different elasticity. The propelling force (9 Newton’s) The same propelling force fond will be used for every test. Using a constant propelling force will help to determine if mass of an object can affect it’s traveling distance. Surface The surface the experiment will be kept the same as different surfaces may cause varying amounts of friction witch may affect the results.

    Conclusion: Based on the investigation and the collected data, we can accept the hypothesis. Overall the data shows that the greater the mass the shorter the tub will ravel. Under the given circumstances the tub traveled decreased as more weight was added therefore supporting the original hypothesis. After graphing the data, we can see a negative coloration as the curve slopes downwards (Graph B). Therefore we can conclude that as you increase the mass of an object, the object’s travel distance will decrease when the propelling force is kept constant.

    The experiment was conducted fairly as the controlled variables were kept the same for each trial/test. Force is directly proportional to mass of an object. As the mass increases, then the Force is increased. In our case, graph C shows that there is a direct positive relationship between Downward Force and mass of the tub. Therefore, the heavier the object, the greater the downward force is acting on it. This is important because this downward force will directly affect travel distance of an object when the propelling force remains constant.

    This is again reiterated in Graph B, which shows a negative relationship between the mass of the tub and it’s travel distance. However, the constant force of AN that was used in the experiment was still enough propelling force to unbalance the forces on the object to move it forward (Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion). Possibly, if the weights were continued to increase, at some point the tub will no longer move forward, as the Downward Force will outweigh the Propelling Force and the tub will no longer move at all.

    However there were still some minor errors, which occurred that could have affected the data. One error which occurred was with the elastic band as I noticed after the testing of trial 2 the band began to lose elasticity, this in turn could affect the amount of elastic potential energy stored in band and then directly affect the kinetic energy that could be released and ultimately affecting the distance the tub traveled. One way to avoid this error in the future would be to measure out several elastic bands and replace the band per test to ensure more accurate data.

    Another factor, which could have influenced the distance the tub traveled, which could have influenced the distance the tub traveled, could have been the chair. The chairs would move slightly between each trial and this would not only have affect the positioning of the elastic band but also the area from where the margarine tub was encapsulated, therefore this error might have created inaccuracies within the data collected. This issue could eave been avoided if I had asked someone to sit on the chair to secure the positioning and keep it steady while conducting the experiment.

    Another solution would be to propel the tub by using another more stable or solid object such as a table, as the tub could have been propelled with the use of the table legs. Another error which could have affected my results, was not using the weight of 400 grams this could have changed the patterns and trends of the overall experiment. If egg increments had been used in the conduction of this experiment trends could have been identified more easily and results could have been directly compared.

    Therefore to improve the accuracy and validity of my investigation, a wider range of weights and trials should have been conducted in order to collect more data and view more patterns and trends within the results therefore being able to draw a better conclusion. Finally for future experiments another factor that could have been performed in order to collect more effective results would be to add a lag time in- between trials. This is to ensure that any frictional heat caused by repeated traveling over same piece of carpet would not affect each subsequent trial following the original one.

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