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Practical Investigation - Air Resistance to a Falling Object

             We are going to investigate a factor that affects the air resistance acting on a falling object. A falling object increases the speed as they fall to the ground as the weight which is the force of gravity pulls them down towards the centre of the earth. At the same time, when they fall through the air, they have an upward force called air resistance acting on it. For objects such as parachutes, they fall more slowly as they have a larger air resistance acting on them. The factors that affect the air resistance on a falling subject are surface area and mass. The factor we chose to investigate is mass because mass is easier to change when investigating the time taken to fall, of the object. The falling object that we will use to investigate is a model of parachute that we will make. .
             Our hypothesis is that the increase in the mass applied to the parachute will have an effect on the time it takes for the falling object (model parachute) to reach the ground. We predict that the greater the mass applied to the parachute, the quicker it will take to fall to the ground. This is because the more mass will have a greater force of gravity, therefore, the larger mass applied will make the parachute fall faster than the smaller mass applied as because they take longer to reach a terminal velocity, due to a larger force of gravity acting on them. As the parachute falls, it will have an increase in the air resistance as it accelerates, which means there will be a greater terminal velocity. .
             The equipment we are going to use for this investigation are:.
             • Plastic Bag.
             • 30cm Ruler.
             • Scissors.
             • String.
             • Small Tin.
             • 5 Masses – 20g, 40g, 60g, 80g and 100g (independent variable).
             • Stopwatch.
             We will use the plastic bag to make our model parachute and we will measure the parachute to a suitable size using a 30cm ruler. Also, the 30cm ruler will be used to measure equal lengths of four pieces of string.

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