Thursday, 16 June 2016

Energy released from fuels

Equipment

Spirit burners with different fuels in (e.g. Ethanol, Propanol, Butanol)
Top pan balance (0.01g accuracy)
Boiling tube
Clamp and stand
Thermometer
Stopclock
Measuring cylinder
Goggles

Method

Place 50ml of water into the boiling tube and place into the clamp. Measure the water temperature.
Place spirit burner on the balance and record the initial mass.
Next place the spirit burner under the boiling tube, light it and start the stop clock, ensuring that the tip of the flame is just beneath the boiling tube.
After 2 minutes have passed snuff out the spirit burner and record the temperature of the water.
Place spirit burner on the balance and record the final mass.
Repeat this twice more using a fresh boiling tube and fresh water and then calculate the average temperature rise divided by the average change in mass.
Repeat the whole experiment three times for each fuel.

Risk assessment

Care should be taken with the spirit burner to ensure you do not spill any fuel. Goggles should be worn when heating liquids. When replacing the boiling tube take care as it will be hot - it should be left in a test tube rack to cool slowly so as not to crack the glass.

Lenses and image formation

Equipment

Power supply
12V bulb in holder
connecting leads
15cm f/l lens
Lens holder
Metre stick
Graph paper

Method

1) Make a table with the following headings

Distance between bulb and lens (cm)
Distance between bulb and image (cm)
Size of image (cm)
Nature of image / Observations

2) Plug the bulb into the power supply and set to 6V – it should not be at full brightness
3) Start with the bulb at one end of the metre stick and have the lens 60 cm from the bulb
4) Hold the graph paper next to the lens and move it away until a sharp image of the filament (the very bright part) has formed – this may be past the end of the metre stick – if so use a second one.
5) Record the distance between the lens and the graph paper in cm
6) Record the size of the image of the filament – one small square on the graph paper is 2mm
7) Record which way up the image of the bulb is on the paper and anything else you think important.
8) Reduce the distance between the bulb and lens to 50cm and repeat the image finding and measurement process.
9) Continue until you reach 10cm between bulb and lens.
10) Write a sentence which describes the pattern s shown in the data.

Extension

Calculate the ratio of the distance between lens and image and the size of the image



SAFETY
The bulb will get hot when working, be careful not to touch it, allow it to cool before clearing away.
Keep walkways clear to avoid trip hazards when light levels are low

Moments and lever effect - distance of effort vs size

Equipment

Metre stick
Triangular block for pivot
Masses (100g, 10g)
Tape


Method

Place the ruler on the pivot so that the pivot is under the 30cm mark. Do not alter this.
Place a fixed mass (e.g. 300g) on the end of the short side of the ruler to provide a fixed load (in this case 3N). Do not alter this either. Tape may be needed to fix this in place.

At the other end of the ruler start adding masses until the short end just lifts. Record the mass needed to make it lift and record the force applied - 100g provides 1N of force.

Repeat 10cm in from the end of the ruler, Keep recording mass and moving in towards pivot by 10cm until 20cm from pivot.


Extension.

Try the same experiment but with the pivot 10cm from the load and 20cm from the load.


Safety

Masses may fall, ensure working in the centre of the desk so that any masses which do fall from the ruler will not fall further onto the floor and feet. The practical should be carried out stood up so that if any masses do fall experimenters can quickly move out of the way.


Osmosis, surface and concentration of solution

Large potato,
Ruler,
Sharp knife,
Chopping board
Paper towels
Scales (0.1g resolution)
Beakers x 4
Water.
Salt
Spatula
Stirring rod
Stopclock
Tea strainer

Method

Carefully cut five cubes of  2cm sides from the potato - ensure they have no skin on.
Dry and weigh the cubes.

In each of four beakers add 100ml of water. Add no salt to the first, weigh and add 5g to the next and so on up to 20g in the last. Stir to ensure all salt is dissolved.

Place a potato piece in each beaker, start the stopclock and time for 10 mins.

Pour each beaker out through a tea strainer - dry and weigh the pieces again.

Record the percentage mass increase, or decrease of each potato piece.

Safety

Knife must be used carefully  - keep fingers well away from cutting surface. Glass beakers could break if not handled well, plastic beakers could be used for this experiment without any adverse effects.


Surface area and osmosis

Equipment

Large potato,
Ruler,
Sharp knife,
Chopping board
Paper towels
Scales (0.1g resolution)
Beakers x 4
Water.
Stopclock
Tea strainer


Method

Carefully cut four cubes of  2cm sides from the potato - ensure they have no skin on.
Leave one cube whole,
Cut one in half to make two 2x2x1cm blocks.
Cut one in four to make four 2x1x1cm blocks.
Cut one in eight parts to make eight 1x1x1 blocks.

Dry and weigh each set of potato pieces and record the masses in a table.

In four beakers with 100ml of water in place each set of potato pieces and start the stopclock.
Time for 10 minutes and then pour each beaker out through a tea strainer - dry and weigh the pieces again.

Use your data to work out the surface area exposed in each case and the percentage mass increase of the potato.

Safety

Knife must be used carefully  - keep fingers well away from cutting surface. Glass beakers could break if not handled well, plastic beakers could be used for this experiment without any adverse effects.




Monday, 18 April 2016

Friction on a block vs tilt angle

Equipment

Wooden block
Balance
100g masses
Tape
Wooden board (e.g heatproof mat)
Ruler, clamp and stand
Pen

Method

Weigh the wooden block then position on the board and mark its position with the pen to ensure it starts in the same place each time.

Set the ruler up so it is held vertically in the clamp and stand, and line up with the rear side of the board.

Tilt the board slowly by raising the edge next to the ruler and watch for when the block starts to move. Record the height the board has been raised to, then reset and repeat the measurement twice more.

Tape a mass to the top of the block ensuring the tape does not go onto the contact surface at the bottom of the block.

Repeat the experiment, and continue adding masses and taking readings until you have 500g added to the block.

Do not use a different block or board, as the materials in contact and the surface area of contact may affect the outcome of the experiment.

Safety

Ensure the work is carried out in the middle of the table so the masses do not fall onto the floor or feet. Make sure the masses are well secured.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Temperature and rate of reaction

Equipment

Water bath
Sodium Thiosulphate solution
Hydrochloric Acid
Measuring cylinders
Boiling tube
Test tube
Led torch
Light sensor & datalogger
Thermometer
Clamps and stands
Goggles

Method

Add 10ml of the Sodium Thiosulphate solution to the boiling tube and place in the water bath set to 25 degrees C.
Add 5ml of the acid to a test tube and also place this in the water bath.
Set up a clamp and stand to hold the boiling tube with the LED torch on one side of it and the light sensor on the other. Set the datalogger to measure light intensity vs time.
When both liquids are at the correct temperature take them out of the water bath, fix the boiling tube into the clamp stand between the torch and the sensor, so that the sensor is against the tube and the light shines through the liquid then tip in the acid.
When the light intensity measured stops changing stop the datalogger.
Repeat the experiment using temperatures of 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 degrees C.

Risk assessment

Be careful when clamping the boiling tube so that it does not get crushed. Clear up spills straight away. Goggles should be work when pouring liquids.


Rate of reaction, concentration & temperature

Equipment

2cm strips of Mg ribbon
Different concentrations of Hydrochloric acid (0.1, 0.5, 1 and 2 molar)
Test tubes
Test tube rack
Measuring cylinder
Thermometer
Stopclock
Goggles

Method

Place 10ml of the first concentration of acid to be used into a test tube. Place in the thermometer and record the temperature of the acid.
Drop in one of the Mg ribbon strips and start the stopclock.
Observe the reaction, looking for gas being produced. When the reaction stops stop the stopclock. If there is any of the Mg ribbon left this should be noted in an observations column. Note the end temperature.
Repeat this twice more using the same concentration of acid. Repeat the whole process of three tests with each different concentration of acid.

Safety

Goggles should be worn throughout the experiment. Spills should be mopped up straight away. Extra care should be taken when handling the most concentrated acid.

Analysis

The rate of reaction is affected by both concentration and temperature. Does the heating effect of the reaction affect it's rate? How could the above exepriment be adapted to eliminate the heating effect of the reaction and that there may not be enough reactants to complete the reaction?


Thursday, 14 April 2016

Photosynthesis rate vs light colour in pond weed

Equipment

LED full spectrum lamp
Couloures gel filters (red, green, blue)
Boiling tube
Clamp & stand
Ruler
Stopclock
Water
Sodium bicarbonate (Baking Soda)
Cabomba pond weed (Elodea may also be used)

Method

Make up a 0.2% solution of the Sodium Bicarbonate and water to provide a source of Carbon Dioxide for the Cabomba.

Fill the boiling tube with the solution and add a piece of Cabomba such that there is 2cm of solution present above the Cabomba. Wrap a single layer of one of the gel filters around the boiling tube. Clamp this in place making sure the that clamp obscures as little of the Cabomba and solution as possible. Gently tap the tube to dislodge any gas introduced to the tube with the Cabomba.

Set up the LED lamp at a 5cm distance from the side of the boiling tube. A normal lamp can be used, however the temperature increase caused by using an incandescent lightbulb will introduce an error into your experiment as temperature also affects the photosynthesis rate. For improved results ambient lighting should be kept constant or the experiment should be done using the LED lamp as the only source of light.

Wait for the Cabomba to start producing bubbles. Start the stopclock and count the bubbles produced over a one minute period. Repeat measurement a further two times.

Repeat the entire experiment having removed the first colour filter and adding the next.

Ensure that the distance from the lamp to the boiling tube does not change so that the light intensity on the pond weed is constant - this will ensure the results are valid and make the experiment a fair test.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Factors affecting cooling of water

A number of factors can affect the rate of cooling of an object.

These are :

Surface area to volume ratio; number of layers of insulation; type of insulation; colour of object; starting temperature of object.

Any investigation into one of these factors will need to carefully control the others to make sure they do not have an effect on the outcome.

The simplest way to identify how each of these factors affects the cooling is by examining the cooling curve for hot water.

A known volume of hot water should be placed in a container. The experiment should then be set up so that the temperature of the water can be measured at 30 second intervals over 10 minutes.

By plotting these results a cooling curve for those conditions can be obtained.

the experiment can then be repeated, changing one of the variables - for example adding a layer of insulation, or using a different shape container.

By comparing the cooling curves for the different conditions we can see both the overall effect after 10 minutes, and determine how the rate of cooling is affected in each case.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Temperature difference and cooling of water

Equipment

4 cups of the same size (e.g drinks cups)
lids with small holes in centre
datalogger and 4 temperature probes or 4 thermometers
Kettle
100ml measuring cylinder
stopclock


Method

Heat water in the kettle until near boiling.

Very carefully measure 100ml hot water and put into cup 1.
Use 80ml hot water and 20ml cold for cup 2, 60 / 40 for cup 3 and 40ml hot, 60ml cold for the final cup.

Add the lids and put the temperature probes through the holes. Thermometers could be used if you have no datalogger - in this case note the start temperature of each cup. Start the stopclock.

After 10 minutes pass stop the datalogger or record the temperature from the thermometers again.

Risks.

Spilled water can cause falls if not cleared up swiftly. Hot water can cause scalds, great care should be taken when using hot water, and insulating gloves may need to be used if something is too hot to comfortably hold.

Temperature and viscosity of oils

Equipment

Water bath
Vegetable oil
Boiling tube
Measuring cylinder
Beaker
Polystyrene cup with hole in bottom
Clamp stand
Bung to fit hole mounted on a rod
Stopclock

Method

Heat 50ml of the oil to 50 degrees C in a boiling tube in the waterbath.
When warmed add to the polystyrene cup (with the bung in) held in the clamp and stand.
Remove the bung and start the stopclock.
Stop the stopclock when the oil has run through into the beaker.

Repeat twice more at this temperature, reheating the oil each time and ensuring you start with 50ml each time.

Repeat at 10 degree temperature intervals down to 20 degrees C.

You may wish to use an alternative method of letting the warm oil run from an object if there is other equipment you can use.

Risks

Do not heat above 50 degrees C to prevent the risk of burns. Ensure any spilled oil is cleared up as soon as possible to avoid slips and falls.



Testing improvement of human co-ordination.

Equipment

computer with keyboard with a number pad
10 sheets of paper containing 5 lines of randomly generated strings of 10 digits
stopclock

Method

Have a volunteer sit at the computer and place their non-dominant hand over the numberpad.

Next to them place a piece of paper which has 5 lines of 10 digit numbers on it, covered by another piece of paper.

Uncover the paper and start the stopclock. The volunteer should start to input the digits as fast as they can without going back over errors.

Stop the stopclock when they reach the end of the list.

Record the time.

Repeat another 10 times using a different random string set.

Once all the times have been completed go over each data set entered into the computer and count the number of errors input during each trial.

Risks

This is a safe experiment to carry out, though if it takes the user a long time to complete the task they may need to be given a short screen break.


Co-ordination, reaction times and practice

Equipment

Metre stick


Method

Position a volunteer so they are sat with their non-dominant arm resting in a comfortable position and their hand is held over the edge of the table with the thumb and forefinger facing up.

Hold the metre stick so the end is level with the top of the thumb and forefinger.

Drop the metre stick - the volunteer should catch it as soon as they can. Record the distance showing just above the finger and thumb.

Repeat the experiment at least 10 times, recording the distance each time.


Risks

This is a relatively safe experiment as long as care is taken to ensure that the metre stick falls vertically so that the far end does not approach the volunteers face and eyes.