Rocket Experiment: Why Calculations Were Off

In summary, the conversation was about firing a rocket in physics class and the resulting discrepancy between the calculated height using formulas and the actual height measured using the tangent of the angle of altitude. The participants discussed possible reasons for this discrepancy, such as friction, wind, and energy losses during flight. They also mentioned the importance of including units when providing numerical values and suggested considering factors like thrust, weight, and air resistance in the calculations.
  • #1
jnimagine
178
0
we fired off a rocket in physics class and we have to write a report about it.
I found out that the height of the rocket calculated using formulas was very off from the real height of the rocket figured out by calculating the tangent of the angle of altitude. (there was an altitude person who measured the angle to the height of the rocket when it was fired off) That angle was 40degrees. The height I got using formulas ( first figuring out max kinetic energy then gravitational energy, then total energy, then the height) was 1127 while the one using distance measured from the rocket's highest point to where the altitude was measured and tan of 40 was 82 yah i know the two numbers aren't close at all.
So we have to discuss why the result is so off. Reasons other than things like human errors... what i have thought of so far are friction, wind, and enrgy losses...but i just can't seem to be able to explain those reasons very well... and could you also explain the energy losses during the flight that might have caused the calculations to be wrong?

Thank you for your help
 
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  • #2
First of all, it's good to get in the habit of including units with each number. As to reasons for potential disagreements between the expected height and actual height...

-- How are you calculating the expected max height? Do you know the thrust of the rocket versus time (like from a stationary test of the rocket motor against a spring balance)? Do you know the weight of the rocket versus time as the propellant burns off? If you know those things, all that is left is air resistance and wind effects, which you can add into your calculations with some approximations.
 
  • #3
and for sharing your observations from the rocket experiment. I would like to provide some insights on why the calculations were off and discuss some possible reasons for the discrepancies in the results.

Firstly, it is important to note that calculations and experiments in science are not always perfect and can sometimes lead to unexpected results. This is why it is crucial to analyze and discuss any discrepancies to gain a better understanding of the experiment and its variables.

One possible reason for the difference in the calculated and measured height of the rocket could be due to the presence of external factors such as wind and friction. These factors can affect the trajectory and speed of the rocket, leading to variations in its flight path. Friction, for example, can cause the rocket to lose some of its initial kinetic energy, resulting in a lower height than expected.

Another factor to consider is energy losses during the flight of the rocket. As the rocket travels through the air, it encounters resistance which can cause a loss of energy. This loss of energy can be due to various factors such as air resistance, heat dissipation, and mechanical losses in the rocket's propulsion system. These energy losses can also contribute to the discrepancy in the calculated and measured height of the rocket.

It is also important to note that the calculations may have been based on ideal conditions and assumptions, which may not always reflect the real-world scenario. For instance, the formula used to calculate the height of the rocket may not have accounted for the effects of air resistance and other external factors.

In conclusion, there could be various reasons why the calculated height of the rocket differed from the measured height. Factors such as wind, friction, and energy losses during the flight could have contributed to the discrepancies. It is essential to carefully analyze and consider all variables when conducting experiments and interpreting results in order to gain a better understanding of the underlying principles and factors at play.
 

Related to Rocket Experiment: Why Calculations Were Off

1. What was the purpose of the rocket experiment?

The purpose of the rocket experiment was to determine why the calculated trajectory of the rocket did not match the actual trajectory during the launch.

2. What factors were taken into consideration when calculating the trajectory?

The factors that were taken into consideration when calculating the trajectory included the weight of the rocket, the amount of fuel, the force of the engines, and the air resistance.

3. What could have caused the calculations to be off?

There are several possible factors that could have caused the calculations to be off, such as human error in measurements or calculations, variations in the atmospheric conditions, or technical issues with the rocket or its components.

4. How will the data from the experiment be analyzed?

The data from the experiment will be analyzed using statistical methods to identify any trends or patterns. It will also be compared to the expected results based on the initial calculations to determine the discrepancies.

5. What are the potential implications of the miscalculated trajectory?

The miscalculated trajectory could have serious implications for the success of the rocket launch, as it could result in a failed mission or damage to the rocket. It could also provide valuable insights for future rocket designs and calculations to improve accuracy and safety.

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