The distance travelled by the margarine tub

These averages will be used to plot a line on a graph. I am predicting that my line on the graph should look something like this:

Detailed method

In this investigation, there will be variables that I will have to change and ones that are to be kept the same throughout. There are 6 variables that are likely to effect the investigation, these are; the force applied by the hand on the elastic band, the surface area of the base of the margarine tub, the shape of the margarine tub, the surface area of the front of the margarine tub, the floor surface used and the mass of the tub.

Some variables will be kept the same, for example, the floor surface used, however only the force applied by the hand on the elastic band will changing throughout the experiment. I n this investigation, our aim is to measure the force applied by the hand on the elastic band in Newtons and the distance travelled by the margarine tub in cm.

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It is important to keep the other variables the same to make this a fair test. The floor surface I used throughout the experiment was Lino. I must use Lino when repeating the experiment because if I changed the floor surface and used carpet, then the amount of friction occurring will change.

If I suddenly used carpet, then the rougher surface will increase the amount of friction and more friction will result in the margarine tub decelerating faster so the distance will also decrease.

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This will effect my results as I would be getting anomalous results as the distance would be decreasing. Similarly, if I changed my floor surface to a polished wood, then the friction will decrease between the tub and the floor and the margarine tub will travel further due to there being less friction affecting the distance travelled.

The mass of the tub must always be kept the same because the acceleration rate will change. For example, if the margarine tub was weighed down more and therefore the distance travelled will decrease. By contrast, is we made the tub lighter, it will travel further and we would expect the distance to greatly increase. The tub that I use must be the same tub that I use for all my experiments because a change in the shape of the tub would mean that it would produce a different air resistance quantity.

If it was more stream-lined, it would be more aerodynamic and therefore less air resistance would affect it so it will travel further. If it was larger, it would collide with more air particles and therefore it will slow down faster and the distance would be smaller. The shape of the tub can also effect the surface area of the base of the tub and the surface area of the front face of the tub as well. If the surface area of the front face of the tub increased, there will be more air particles obstructing the tub and therefore it ill loose more kinetic energy faster as the particles heat up.

If the front surface area decreased in size, less kinetic energy will be transferred meaning that more can be used to drive the tub forwards and so the distance will increase as a result. Likewise, if the surface area of the base of the tub decreased, there would be less friction occurring and less of the energy being changed to heat energy because less of the surface of the tub will be in contact with the Lino. If, however, the surface area of the base increased, then the counter force, being friction, will increase as well. The larger the surface area, the greater friction occurring and the distance travelled will decrease.

The only variable that we will continually change in this experiment is the force applied by the hand on the elastic band in Newtons. This variable is the only one changing so that we can use the results to plot a graph and show us the general trend.

Anomalous results

Anomalous results are likely to occur often during the experiments due to errors. These errors can mean that you will not necessarily obtain the exact result each time for each force, and I have had to repeat the experiment for a certain force several times before it fitted in with the 5cm distance tolerance.

For example, I had to carry out the experiment roughly 5-7 times for each force. This could have been the result of not fully controlling all the variables that were meant to be kept the same. When I obtained my final result I had to generate an average for each force and plot a line graph connecting as many points as possible with the force applied in Newtons along the x-axis and the distance travelled in cm along the y-axis. I plotted the averages and drew the line along the points.

This way I was able to pin-point any graphical anomalous results. A graphical anomalous result is an unreliable result that does not fit in with the general trend of the line. As a result, I had to repeat this force again. The only force in my results that I had to repeat was at 4N. I had to repeat the experiment for 4N because it generated an anomalous result. When I repeated it, I generated new results and a new average, which when plotted, fitted in perfectly with the line.

Updated: May 19, 2021
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The distance travelled by the margarine tub. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

The distance travelled by the margarine tub essay
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