Jumping Bug Investigation. Gcse Coursework. Essay

4611 words - 18 pages

Physics Coursework - Bug Up Investigation.The aim of this experiment is to investigate how the mass of a bug-up toy affects the height at which it jumps to, and how the gravitational potential energy produced by the toy varies with its changing mass.Basic Procedure.To investigate this, the height at which the bug-up jumps to needs to be recorded against the increasing mass of the toy. This data can then be used to identify any form of correlation between the mass of the toy and the height at which it is able to jump. Firstly, the mass of the unaltered bug-up is recorded before placing the toy at the base of a ruler. Then the spring of the toy is compressed, and the height at which it jumps to is measured off the ruler. In this experiment, an exercise book will be held at the point on the ruler at which the bug-up is predicted to jump to, so that the subsequent jump can be measured with a greater degree of accuracy. This process will be repeated three times, to account for any anomalous results, before increasing the mass of the bug up by adding a 1g ball of plasticine to it. This process is then repeated.Maintaining a Fair Experiment.To maintain a fair experiment, certain variables need to be kept constant so that they do not influence the results obtained. Firstly, the same bug-up toy must be used throughout the duration of the experiment. This is because if two or more separate toys are used, than it is likely they will have different masses, and varying strengths of springs, which will cause the bug-up to jump to different heights. For this reason, if the bug-up toy is changed at some point during the experiment, than the results obtained from it will no longer be valid when incorporated with the results obtained from another bug-up toy, which will ultimately invalidate the whole experiment.The force exerted upon the bug-up to compress it does not need to be kept constant throughout the experiment, as the spring in the bug-up will always store the same amount of energy in its compressed state. When the force is exerted upon the bug-up, the suction pad will stick to the plastic base of the bug-up, causing the spring to compress. As the distance travelled by the suction pad will always be the same, so the spring will always be compressed by the same amount, thus storing the same amount of elastic potential energy (this theory will be addressed later in the project). For this reason, the force exerted upon the bug-up to compress it at the beginning of the jump does not effect how high the toy will jump, so does not need to be kept constant.Equipment.The equipment used during the experiment is o be as follows:Bug up Toy - A plastic casing that is attached to a suction pad and a spring. When the casing is pressed, the spring compresses and the suction pad sticks to a piece of plastic at the base of the spring. A few seconds afterwards, the rubber suction pad releases, causing the spring to expand thus propelling the bug-up into the air.Plasticine -...

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