Uploaded by Mateo Martinez

12 IB Physics IA Ideas at home

IB Physics IA Ideas
That Can Be Completed At Home
How does the temperature of water in a wine glass affect the resonant
frequency of sound produced when the wine glass is either struck or a wet
finger runs around the rim and the rim begins to freely vibrate?
Independent Variable: Temperature of Water
Dependent Variable: Resonant Frequency of sound produced
Control Variables: Volume of water, density of glass, cross-sectional area of glass
rim, humidity/temperature of surrounding air
Top Tip - You can use the free SpectrumView app to measure the frequency of sound
How does the cross-sectional area of card attached to a vibrating mass affect
the displacement of the mass after twenty oscillations
Independent Variable: Cross-sectional area of damping card
Dependent Variable: Displacement of mass after 20 oscillations
Control Variables: Mass, Initial displacement of oscillating mass, spring constant of
spring, (there's more - I'm sure!)
Top Tip - Set up could look a bit like this...
Investigate the factors affecting the terminal velocity of a paper helicopter
Independent Variable: No. of paperclips OR length of helicopter rotor OR width of
helicopter rotor
Dependent Variable: Terminal velocity of helicopter
Control Variables: Depends on which independent variable you have chosen
Top Tip - Template for model can be found here
How does the angle of blade of a toy helicopter affect the lift force on the
Independent Variable: Angle of helicopter blades
Dependent Variable: Lift force of helicopter
Control Variables: Number of helicopter blades, width of helicopter blades,
rotational speed of blades, weight of helicopter (keep going...)
Top Tip - the helicopter should be taped to the electronic scales for this to work
How does the mass of a ball bearing affect the energy loss in a pendulum
system when it is released from 90 degrees and collides with a wall.
Independent Variable: Mass of ball bearing (could choose other variable e.g. angle
of release)
Dependent Variable: Energy loss (calculated using measurements of height of ball
Control Variables: Height ball bearing is released, density of ball bearing, density of
wall surface....
Top Tip - the set up could look something like this
How the temperature of grease affects the depth of crater created when a
mass is dropped from a known height
Independent Variable: Temperature of grease
Dependent Variable: Depth of crater
Control Variables: mass of ball bearing, height dropped, etc
Top Tip - your personal engagement marks will depend on how you solve the tricky
issues of measuring the depth of the crater.
How does the distance between panes of glass in double glazing affect the
rate of heat loss?
Independent Variable: Distance between two panes of glass
Dependent Variable: Rate of heat loss
Control Variables: outside temperature, inside temperature, thickness of glass,
ambient wind speed, etc.
Top Tip - You should plot a graph of distance between panes on the x-axis and rate of
heat loss on the y-axis.
How does the cross-sectional area of the pipe in a siphon affect the volumetric
flow rate of the water in the siphon?
Independent Variable: Cross-sectional area of pipe
Dependent Variable: Volumetric flow rate
Control Variables: height between columns of water, temperature of water, velocity
of water
Top Tip - The equation you should be using is really simple:
Volumetric Flow Rate = (Cross-Sectional Area of the Pipe) x Velocity
How does the height of a ramp affect the time taken for a cylinder to roll down
the ramp?
Independent Variable: Height of ramp
Dependent Variable: Time taken for cylinder to roll down the ramp
Control Variables: Radius of cylinder, length of ramp
Top Tip - when considering the underlying theory, don't forget rotational kinetic
How does the distance between two towers sustaining a flat metallic bar affect
the vertical depression/sag produced when a known mass is added?
Independent Variable: Distance between two towers
Dependent Variable: Depression / sag
Control Variables: mass added, position of mass added, Young modulus of metallic
bar, breadth of metallic bar, depth of metallic bar, temperature of metallic bar
Top Tip - This website gives a good discussion of the physics and the equation you
can use to make your theory / hypothesis. Basically, the sag should be directly
proportional to the cube of distance between the towers.
How does the radius of the exoplanet affect the apparent brightest of a star,
as the exoplanet transits across the star?
Independent Variable: Radius of sphere that mimics the exoplanet
Dependent Variable: Largest Change in Apparent Brightness from the lamp that
mimics the star
Control Variables: Actual brightness of lamp, distance o “exoplanet” from “star, etc
Top Tip - you can model the exoplanet experiment with a set up similar to below. You
can measure light level using iPhone app LuxMeter Pro
Exoplanet Transit
Modelling Exoplanet Transit!
How does the length of a violin/guitar string affect the sustain time of the
violin/guitar string after being plucked with a constant force?
Independent Variable: Length of guitar string
Dependent Variable: Sustain time of string after being plucked
Control Variables: force applied to string, temperature of string, humidity and
density of air
Top Tip - You'd need to use an iPhone app to measure sound volume AND make sure
you have a completely silent room. You could try Decibel X PRO: dBA Noise Meter