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By: K. Chaitanya Krishna

Research Question: How will the size of the metal ball affect the size of the

crater created?

Teachers prompt: Investigate one factor that affects the size of the crater

formed when a metal ball is dropped onto a bucket of sand.

Variables:

Independent Variable: Time Taken. Dependent Variable: Size of the crater formed on dropping the metal ball. Controlled Variable: The angle and height at which the metal ball is dropped, The mass and size of the ball, and the Volume of sand.

Principle:

Potential energy = mass x height x gravity Kinetic Energy = m The law of conservation of energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Therefore by ignoring friction and air resistance, potential energy and kinetic energy is always constant. Hence when a ball is dropped all its potential energy gets converted into kinetic energy. In this case potential energy at the highest point is equal to kinetic energy at the point before the ball reaches the surface of the sand. So potential energy = kinetic energy or in terms of formula m g h= m . Using the before formula we can get v= . Thus the velocity of the ball depends upon the height of the ball and so does the craters size.

Similarly if the ball is dropped at an angle, the size of the crater will be affected, as we will have to consider a new horizontal component, which is not present if the ball is dropped vertically down. The mass of the ball also affects the crater as the potential energy increases proportionally with the increase in mass of the ball.

Apparatus required:

A metal ball A bucket A weighing scale Measuring cylinder Sand A ruler A protractor A meter rule

Steps: 1. Pour sand into the bucket, until its enough to observe a craters depth. 2. Measure the volume of the sand using measuring cylinder. Use this volume of sand in each trail. 3. Weigh the ball using the weighing scale. Note down the scale. 4. Place a meter rule in the sand. 5. Measure the angle of the meter rule with the surface of the sand. Adjust the ruler so that the meter rule is perpendicular to the surface of the sand. 6. Choose a fixed height from which the ball must be dropped. Mark this height on the meter rule. This height should be used for all the trails. 7. Drop the ball. 8. Measure the depth and the diameter of the crater. 9. Repeat the same by using different metal balls of different sizes.

Independent variables: Initial volume of water [X] Volume of water added [Y] Volume of water in sand [X+Y]

Conclusion: This experiment is ideal to observe some changes in the size of the crater in a simple experimental situation.

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