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Experiments Feedback

by Ron Kurtus

Readers have sent in a total of 166 comments and questions on Experiments issues. They are listed according to date.

You can read them to further your understanding of the subject.



List of next 15 letters

Title

Topic

Country

Measuring weight in water doesn't seem to work Fluids USA
 
Static electricity and hair color Static Electricity USA
 
Questions would help learning Fluids Vanuatu
 
Does fiction depend on area of contact? Friction Philippines
 
Experiment to determine center of gravity General Uganda
 
Aluminum strips don't seem to work Electroscope India
 
Experiment resources General USA
 
I want simple projects Electroscope India
 
Understanding friction theory Friction Nigeria
 
Boiling water in a plastic container Heat Nigeria
 
Report on determination of coefficient of static friction Friction USA
 
How water affects sound waves Sound Amplified Over Water USA
 
How does electroscope detect charges? Electroscope USA
 
Experment to produce water waves Waves India
 
Making a working model of a coal mine General India
 

Next 15 letters




First 15 letters


Fluids

Measuring weight in water doesn't seem to work

March 8, 2014

Question

Hello! I am doing this experiment with my first grade son and all of the items are weighing the exact same in and out of the water! We had assumed that they would for sure weigh less in the water when they are sinking and displacing the water above. We have tried heavier objects, larger objects, and other variations and no matter what I use the results are the same: the rock is weighing 4.6 oz on land and 4.6 oz totally submerged in water. Am I missing something? My son badly wants to be a scientist and I don't want to lead him down a wrong path of understanding science just because I'm doing something wrong! He wanted to do this due to his curiosity of why he can lift his brother in the pool but not on land. ANY help would be so much appreciated!

Megan - USA (24589)

Answer

The best way to weigh the rock is to hang it by some string from a spring scale or something similar both in air and in the water. There should be a difference in weight. Otherwise, I'm not sure why you are getting the same weight in and out of the water.

I will have to add a drawing to the experiment to clarify the method.

It is good that your son is curious, because that it the first step in becoming a scientist.

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Static Electricity

Static electricity and hair color

November 30, 2013

Question

My name is Mrs. Latoya Bush, I have a nine year old daughter who is doing a science fair project on static electricity and hair color, and would like to get information and use it for as a resource.
1. can you please explain static electricity?

Johnae - USA (24235)

Answer

See Controlling Flyaway Hair from Static Electricity for information about the subject. Your daughter should be able to understand the material.

By brushing or combing a person's hair with a plastic comb, you can create static electricity. Red hair is usually very fine and results in flyaway hair more that thicker hair, such as black hair.

I hope that helps. Best wishes on her project.

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Fluids

Questions would help learning

November 1, 2013

Question

this experiment is very good and it works. do you think that this will help the students if there are no questions that will contribute to the students learning and understanding? Excuse my poor English

kathrian - Vanuatu (24160)

Answer

Thank you for your suggestion. I will be adding questions and answers to the various experiments, in order to help the students learn and understand the material.

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Friction

Does fiction depend on area of contact?

July 24, 2013

Question

Does frictional force depend on the area of contract?

Roberto - Philippines (23884)

Answer

For hard flat surfaces, the resistance force of friction is independent of the area of contact. See Standard Friction Equation for information.

However, most surfaces are not perfectly flat or hard. Variations will result in area of contact having a contribution.

Studying how friction varies with pressure, area, and flatness would be a good set of experiments.

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General

Experiment to determine center of gravity

July 22, 2013

Question

I WANT AN EXPERIMENT TO DETERNIME THE CENTER OF GRAVITY

WASSWA - Uganda (23880)

Answer

See Center of Gravity for an explanation and pictures.

You can then devise an experiment to fine the center of gravity in other objects.

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Electroscope

Aluminum strips don't seem to work

July 17, 2013

Question

With due respect , I beg to say that while making eletro-scope I dealed with a problem .My problem is that while making it can we use aluminum foil strips instead of metal strips .... I tried it several times with aluominum strips ,but no results...
Please help me to make it ..

Thanks..

simran - India (23868)

Answer

Thin aluminized Mylar (plastic) strips should work as the foil strips. Aluminum foil may sometimes be too thick to work properly.

See Home Made Electroscopee for some good instructions.

Best wishes with your experiment.

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General

Experiment resources

March 30, 2013

Question

Hi!

Didn't know if you were taking suggestions for new resources to list on the Resources on Science Projects and Experiments page of your website, but if you are, I recently came across something that might be worth adding. If you're interested in taking a look, let me know and I'll send over the details. If not, then don't worry about it.

Jon - USA (23570)

Answer

Thanks for the offer. I'd be glad to see some new resources.

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Electroscope

I want simple projects

March 3, 2013

Question

i want more best and simple projects

Anshu - India (23517)

Answer

We will be adding more project soon.

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Friction

Understanding friction theory

February 27, 2013

Question

i was give an experiment based on the coefficient of static friction. I'm done with the experiment but writing the theory is what i can't do. Can you help me with the theory based on the experiment(coefficient of static friction )

chibuike - Nigeria (23502)

Answer

The equation for friction force is Fr = ¼N. However, the value of the coefficient of friction (¼) is different for static and sliding friction, the with static coefficient being higher.

See Standard Friction Equation for more information.

Also Measure Coefficient of Friction with a Ramp may help you.

I hope this helps you understand the principles. Look at the other Friction lessons for more information.

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Heat

Boiling water in a plastic container

February 18, 2013

Question

I boiled some water(up to 100C ) in a plastic kettle on a gas cooker and the kettle does not melt. Please explain to me the science behind this process.

Abu - Nigeria (23207)

Answer

It is a very clever experiment. The reason the plastic does not melt is because the water absorbs the heat better than the plastic. This means that the temperature of the water and the plastic stays the same as the temperature of the water increases. However, once the water starts to boil, the temperature of the steam can quickly go beyond 100C such that the pastic may start to melt.

This same experiment is often done with a cardboard container over a fire. The cardboard will not burn as the water is heated up.

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Friction

Report on determination of coefficient of static friction

January 27, 2013

Question

how can we write a report on determination of coefficient of static friction between a cardboard box and a wooden bench?

- USA (23155)

Answer

You usually need a spring scale to measure the force required to start the movement of the box. It is better to have some weight in the box, so that the scale will have a reading. Then the coefficient of friction will be the force reading on the spring scale divided by the weight of the box and its contents.

In your report, state your goal, the equipment used, and the steps you take to perform the experiment. Then record a series of readings and take the average results.

I hope this helps you write up your project report.

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Sound Amplified Over Water

How water affects sound waves

January 8, 2013

Question

My 11 year old son is doing a science project on how water affects the speed of sound and he found this article very interesting. He would like to know if you have any ideas or suggestions on a science experiment he could do to show this information. Unfortunately we live were it is currently winter so all the bodies of water nearby are currently frozen, but any suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated.

Jennifer - USA (23114)

Answer

When sound travels over a body of water, the effect is from the water cooling the air. So, it is not a case of water affecting the speed of sound directly.

Sound should travel faster in ice than in air. If you hit the lake ice with a hammer a distance away and had your ear against the ice, you should be able to hear the difference in sound reaching you. (However, it could be real cold on your ear.)

A similar experiment is done in a large swimming pool by having an ear in the water and the other outside the water, and clicking two objects together.

Of course, for both of these experiments, using microphones to detect the sound would be better, provided you could compare the times.

These ideas may not be practical, but hopefully they'll give you some ideas.

Best wishes for success in his science project.

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Electroscope

How does electroscope detect charges?

January 4, 2013

Question

What happened to the object when you rubbed the balloon with wool?
How did the device you made detect static electricity?

Sofia - USA (23104)

Answer

The wool loses some electrons to the balloon, while the balloon gains negative charges.

The way the electroscope detects the charges involves a number of steps:

When you put the balloon near the electroscope, the charges on the balloon cause the metal end of the electroscope to gain positive charges. This in turn gives the same charge to the leaves and causes them to repel each other.

See Detection of Static Electricity for more information.

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Waves

Experment to produce water waves

November 15, 2012

Question

GOAL- TO PRODUCE WAVES & STUDY THEIR PROPERTIES

MATERIALS- A 9 VOLT BATTERY
A WOODEN BOARD
A 12 VOLT MOTOR
A RUBBER BAND
A THREAD SPOOL
A STRING
SMALL PIECES OF PAPER
A WOODEN ROD WITH A HOOK
A SWITCH
WIRES

PROCEDURE-
1. TAKE THE WOODEN BOARD AND THEN FIX THE MOTOR AND THE BATTERY ON THE BOARD BY USING THE SWITCH(KEEP THE SWITCH IN A OFF POSITION)
2.NOW TAKE THE THREAD SPOOL AND FIX IT ON THE MOTOR AND TIGHTEN IT BY KEEPING SOME SMALL PIECES OF PAPER(KEEP THE SPOOL ON THE METALIC ROD THAT PEEPS OUT OF THE MOTOR AND THEN TIGHTEN IT)
3.NOW HANG THE WOODEN ROD ON THE SPOOL WITH THE HELP OF A STRING
4.NOW SWITCH ON THE MOTOR , CIRCULAR WAVES WILL BE GENERATED
5.KEEP A SMALL PIECE OF PAPER AND GIVE THE CONCLUSION THAT THE WAVES OF A WATER DOES NOT MAVE FORWARD (INSTEAD ONLY GIVE A UP AND DOWN MOVEMENT)

ROUNAK - India (23037)

Answer

Thank you for the information on an experiment to create waves. I will be adding it to our experiments soon.

Best wishes in your science studies.

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General

Making a working model of a coal mine

September 28, 2012

Question

Sir,
I want to make a working model on coal mines. Please guide me of suggest any other interesting working model.

Anubhav - India (22964)

Answer

You can make a model of a coal mine by showing its insides with a frame that has glass or plexiglass to show the tunnels and such. You can use regular dirt, but you must have black material or even coal to show where the workers would be digging.

It would be very difficult to make a working model, since you would need model trains and digging machines inside your model. It is better to show what the inside of a coal mine looks like and then show pictures of what the workers do to get out the coal.

Best wishes in your project.

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