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Homework Help: YEAR 12 Astrophysics EEI HELP Please?

  1. May 7, 2008 #1
    YEAR 12 Astrophysics EEI HELP!!! Please?

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Hello :)

    I'm a year 12 student working on my EEI (Extended Experimental Investigation) which is about astrophysics. We are allowed to pick any topic, however we were given some ideas:

    History of Measurement
    Parachutes (Falling mass)

    I've lost my assignment sheet so I cant remember the others but basically our teacher is hosting an astronomy night and we are able to take photos of anything in space we want, in Australia here. The topic is negotiatable, as we have to design our own experiment to conduct, so it can be anything to do with astrophysics or gravity. Anything even slightly relatable to space.

    I picked to take photos of the moon and observe the craters, and conduct an experiment using a thick layer of flour, with a thin layer of cocoa, all in a baking tray, and (somehow) propelling malteasers into the mixture at different angles and speeds, and observe the pattern left behind. However I'm finding it increasingly difficult to propel anything into the mixture.

    I have set up a cylindrical cardboard roll about 30cm/12 inches long, in between the knife holders in the kitchen which holds it quite sturdy, (dont laugh :rofl:) but I dont know how to accelerate the object, maybe I'm better looking for a new topic? I've tried a sling shot its not (:rolleyes:) working too well. Tried to sling it down the roll, which then lands it into the flour mixture, creating the pattern. It's all well in theory but trying to find household objects to help is hard. It's quite funny, however I'm running out of time with my assignment. It's due the end of May! :cry:

    2. Relevant equations

    Any gravitational laws, any rules/laws relating to this..

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I did have an idea to work with black holes but as there are no solid facts about them, and its all theory, there is no experiment I can conduct.... Hmmm... I also thought of somehow using Hubble's Constant, but perhaps it would be too hard for my experience level?

    I love physics, I find the whole concept fascinating, however I'm hardly the brightest in my class. I need an idea that I can understand, ie not too many complicated equations etc, however I need a good mark to pass for the semester.

    Thank you to anyone who tries to help, or reads this. I really do appreciate it.:redface::smile::biggrin:
  2. jcsd
  3. May 7, 2008 #2
    Razza: sounds like an awesome project! You should stick with this one (i think).
    Some advice:
    Don't use just a baking tray - use something bigger, and deeper. Take it outside, and throw rocks at it or drop them from heights. Maybe even videotape it closeup?
    They two different materials (cocoa and flour) idea is great too; maybe even use 4?

    You can also use conservation of momentum/energy to make some calculations on how much energy can be released/transfered in asteroid collisions.
  4. May 7, 2008 #3
    Thank you! :approve:

    Actually, that just gave me an idea; thats exactly right the malteasers are waaaay too light to work with, theyre hardly leaving an imprint.

    I'll try that now actually.

    Thank you lzkelley!!!:smile:
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