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Gonzalo Vidaurrazaga Dr. Keith Herold Physics HL IB Year 1 pd.

6 August 14, 13

“As the Crow Flies” – Vector Analysisx
1. I. TITLE: “As the Crow Flies”: Vector analysis and other Physical Measurements 2. II. OBJECTIVE/or HYPOTHEIS: The aim of this experiment is to get familiarized into the realm of physics, the different units of measurement used, the possibility of uncertainty and error, and even how to write a successful and complete lab report. In this case, we will do so by going through our school campus marking certain checkpoints in our map and compare and contrast the differences between our total distance covered and our final displacement (distance from start to ending point), to get to know one of the most important variables between vectors and scalars. The moment in which you start going in two different directions, or the moment in which you make a turn, then displacement is already different to distance. If we run around the FDR campus going through a set of specific points in the map measuring all the distances we travel, then the total distance will definitely not be equal to our displacement, or our distance from the initial spot to the final spot in a straight line, because vectors measurements are completely different to scalar ones, mainly because scalar includes all distance and vector also involve direction, or final displacement.
Identification of Variables: Independent variable: Overall distance covered Dependent variable: Displacement Controlled variables: 1. Same measuring tape

2. Same group of people measuring, drawing, etc. 3. Compass

Method of Controlling the Variables: While we conduct our lab, we will have the each person in our group a specific role to take over. For example, we want the same two people to be holding the measuring tape during every distance measurement we record. This maintains the same tension on the line leading to maintaining the same uncertainty ratio. At the same time, by getting the stronger people in that role, we get more tension on the tape and the possibility of error decreases. The use of the same compass will maintain the ratio of error if there is any, making our results at least precise if they are not accurate. In general, every controlled variable was maintained the same in every little detail for this reason, to having the most precise results possible even if we didn’t have those so accurate.

3. III. PROCEDURE: A step-by-step list process was given to each one of us, for us to follow and conduct successfully the lab. 4. IV. MATERIALS: • • • • Paper Pen Measuring tape Meter stick

5. V. DATA COLLECTION AND PROCESSING (Collection Form point X to point Y Class to cement ledge Cement ledge to walkway entrance Walkway entrance to 2nd group of bushes Bushes to green platform Green platform to library Library door to wall Wall trig (sides of 1.17m and . 21m) Wall to room 123 Room 123 to hallway Hallway entrance to hallway wall Hall way wall to hallway passage Hallway passage to tree Tree to playground hallway Distance in meters +-0.05 5.04 14.16 16.74 26.30 56.19 8.50 1.19 56.87 5.02 8.55 2.14 23.57 41.32

Playground hallway to hallway wall 23.94 Hallway wall to new hallway passage Hallway passage to end of passage End of hallway to room 115 1.96 7.60 23.04

Room 115 to north library wall North library wall to northeast edge Library edge to plaque Plaque to curved pathway TOTAL DISTANCE

9.50 20.38 24.87 18.47 395.35

6. VI. DATA COLLECTION AND PROCESSING: Data Analysis: {PART A:} 7. VII. DATA PROCESSING {PART B:}  {PART C:} Final Resultant – Displacement: 37.47m  {PART D:} Find the total distance – Distance: 395.35m

8. VIII. OBSERVATIONS: • In step 4, a small branch in the group of bushes does not let us measure the line between the bushes and the green platform correctly, we couldn’t make it completely straight. In step 5, the single movement one measured was about 56m, and the measuring tape only reaches 50m. This increases the uncertainty and error because we might not start measuring exactly where we left off. In step 6, one couldn’t go in a straight line, so one needed no measure different wall dimensions that might not be very accurate and then apply trigonometry skills to get the hypotenuse. When I started to the recorded vector measurements, one notes that angles actually do not affect distance but they do affect

displacement, because it varies how far you are from your start point. • In the measurement from the library to room 123, you went through two walls, and we couldn’t just measure the length so we needed to do some trig to get the hypotenuse by measuring two legs of the triangle. In this case, the measurements might have not been very exact; you don’t necessarily pick off the measuring tape exactly where you left if off and in the same direction you had it before. Even though we measured every vector very accurately and we drew it on the map in a correct scale, the map didn’t look real because we didn’t use the correct angles. In step 10, we ignored a height difference that did affect the measurement we recorded. Step 14, were you arrived to the plaque, it wasn’t a straight line along the edge of the wall as it said and it didn’t say to which point in the plaque measure to. It was also hard to measure with the curved wall and with the plaque being on a different level and in between plants. The final step we conducted for the experiment didn’t specify were in the curved pathway to stop.

• •

Sources of uncertainty and error: • When measuring, we never achieved to have a direct, completely straight line connecting the two points. In some cases we went through level-ascending or descending pathways, our tape could be arched, or could make some turns that we couldn’t avoid because of the landscape. All of these facts are uncertainties that affected our accuracy.


By performing this lab and analyzing the collected data I was able to determine the difference between vectors and scalars, especially those between distance and displacement. We did this by following different procedures, making turns and moving in different directions to arrive to a certain checkpoint in a map. Finally, by adding up all the measurements and comparing them to the displacement, length from initial to final spot, one notes that they are completely different

Evaluation: In general lines, I would say we did conduct successfully this vector analysis lab because even though are measurement weren’t exact, we were able to use them to understand what we planned to: the difference between distance and displacement and at the same time to learn how to outline a lab write-up. That’s why I say we were effective; we met our goal and purpose, that’s it. Based on my recordings and the way I analyzed, I was able to understand deeply some new concepts that are vital for the upcoming physics unit. The work I did to get the displacement, the way we compared it to the total distance, was all vital to successfully meet our objective.

If I were to conduct this lab once again knowing what I now know, I would certainly change some things. First of all, I would introduce students to vector and scalar measurements. With that information given to them, I would make them do a complete lab report, meaning by doing the stages of design, data collection and processing and conclusion and evaluation. I would also make students measure the displacement to different checkpoints in a map, not just the one from the initial to the final spot. In this case, you ask them to get three different displacements, one that is equal to the distance, one along the way and the final displacement. In my opinion, if the students were able to create their own procedures and go along different points in the map that they create, it would provide a better understanding of the concept. At the same time, you avoid that students share their data with other peers. By doing this, they will be fully introduced into the real of physics because in difference to the lab as it is, this does show you how to do a full lab because you do the design section. I would also make the requirements clear and well explained. There were many doubts in students on if we needed to include uncertainty and error. This caused confusion and even some students dropped physics class because of this. Moreover,

measuring the angles is something I would value to make the drawing of the map easier and accurate consequently making the process to get the displacement shorter. Finally, I would just teach the students how to get the displacements after they have everything you can work on before done, to avoid confusing them with too many ideas at a time.

In my opinion, what I just stated would in some way improve the outcome of the lab, but the way it is done still enables you to understand the intended message.