Physics: Projectile coursework

Physics: Projectile coursework

  • Submitted By: epicperson
  • Date Submitted: 03/12/2014 10:37 AM
  • Category: Science
  • Words: 1202
  • Page: 5

Falling Cupcakes
Experiment write-up

21/11/13 Plan

This experiment involves dropping cupcake cases from a balcony and timing how long it takes for it to reach the ground. The aim is to investigate the motion of objects which will have a high air resistance (cupcake cases are suitable because they have little mass and a large surface area). The acceleration of the falling cupcakes will be calculated and this will be compared to the standard gravitational acceleration: 9.81ms-2.

My prediction is that the more cupcake cases stacked onto each other, the faster it will reach the ground. This is because heavier objects can reach terminal velocity faster than than lighter objects.

Cupcake cases - a lot
Stopwatch - accurate to 0.1s
Tape measure - to measure distance of cupcake case’s trajectory
Indoor environment - to avoid wind blowing cupcake cases away
Metre ruler - this will be used to release cupcake cases
Balcony - cupcake cases will be dropped from here (a height of 3.92m)

Risk assessment
Metre ruler may fall from balcony and hit an observer, causing an injury. To reduce the chance of this happening, observers will stand a safe distance away from directly under the balcony and observe at least 1.5 metres away. The metre ruler should also be held with a tight grip and only half of the metre ruler should go over the balcony. This means that if it is dropped, there is a 50/50 chance it will fall either way, further reducing chances of injury.


In the table, anomalies are highlighted and were not included when calculating the average time. All values are in seconds. The uncertainty is 0.2 seconds.


The uncertainty will play a huge part in affecting the reliability of our results. Here is a diagram showing the perfect way of doing our experiment:

Cupcake case


However, due to human error, we know that doing the...

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