GCSE Physics- Force, Mass and Acceleration Coursework

Essay by vix1989High School, 11th grade February 2006

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In this experiment I aim to find out how the force and mass affect acceleration. I shall do this by setting up an experiment involving a ticker tape timer and trolley, to keep the experiment as fair as possible I will only change one variable at a time. For the first part I will only vary the force (see fig. 1) in difference weights of 1N, 2N, 3N and 4N. In order to keep the friction acting on the trolley constant I will make the ramp which the trolley is on at the exact angle so it would keep moving at constant speed if I pushed it, this simulates no friction. Also I will keep the mass of the trolley constant by weighing it on a top pan balance. Finally the ticker timer was kept at constant time intervals.

As well as varying the force I decided to vary the mass of the trolley in masses of an extra; 100g, 200g, 300g and 400g.

However as in the first part I have to keep the other variables constant, the force pulling on the trolley must stay at 1N and in the same way as before also the friction and time intervals. Another thing that I would usually take into consideration is that the experiment should be repeated to give better results, however this is not important because the ticker timer and trolley give very accurate results.

After setting up the apparatus to give fair results I will carry out four sets of ticker timers for the force and then for the mass of the trolley. These will then give me a series of ticker tape charts which I will be able to transfer onto an acceleration against force graph and acceleration against mass graph.


I predict that the...