AS101daylab3 - J.I. AS101 Day Lab #3 Write-up 6/15/07 Lab...

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J.I. AS101 Day Lab #3 – Write-up 6/15/07 Lab Partners: Nina, Francine Simulation of Impact Craters Abstract In this lab we explore the Impact Theory. The impact theory simply states that when a high-speed object impacts the surface of a planet it will leave behind a crater. In order to understand the activity of the surface of other planets we can use knowledge gathered on our planet and combine that with our observations of other planets to generate a working model that applies to anywhere in the universe. We used a simulated surface of finely ground glass dust and dense metal balls to simulate an impact to produce a lab-created crater. We will examine the difference between different sized and different mass balls to determine a working theory behind the creation of the craters. Introduction During the formation of our solar system there was proposed a time when the planets were forming and collecting mass and gases and material. Soon thereafter there was a period known as the period of heavy bombardment. Much of the extra clumps of mass around the solar system were colliding with what are now the planets and causing heavy damage to the surface of these planetesimals. What is left on the planets today represents a history of each planet. We can piece together many clues left by these craters, but in order to do that we must understand the mechanics of the crater and how they came to be. In this lab we explore a scaled model of crater making. In a container of finely ground glass material we will drop balls of varying sizes and varying width to see how that affects the resulting crater. In order to test whether the physical size makes a difference we will use the properties of the laws of energy to determine a different drop point each different sized ball. By measuring the mass of each ball we can determine a drop height so that both balls will impact the surface with the same energy. By keeping the energy the same and changing the size of the ball, if the craters all fall within the same characteristics then we have determined that it is not the size of the ball that determines the crater size but rather the transfer of energy that happens when the ball impacts the surface. Procedure In this lab we performed two major sets of experiments using the metal balls and the tubs of glass dust. The first was a static straight down drop from different heights of two different sized and weighted metal balls. First we had to measure the mass of the two selected balls. Because we were looking to disprove that the physical size of the balls had little to do with the crater size we did not measure the diameter of the balls. Then we decided on a set drop height for the smaller ball. This allowed us to determine a drop
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AS101daylab3 - J.I. AS101 Day Lab #3 Write-up 6/15/07 Lab...

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