Forces at a Distance (moments, balance, pressure, hydraulics and pendulums)

Students are likely to have met balance, turning moments and pressure in their Key Stage 3 courses and so in many cases this topic will represent a more detailed and mathematical treatment of these ideas. The basic principles of turning moments are reasonably intuitive (as seen in young children’s understating of balancing see saws). However the numerical calculations can be challenging with an inverse relationship (increasing force, decreasing distance and vice versa). When studying pendulums the absence of an effect of mass on the time period continues to be counter intuitive, even for many A level students, and so the experimental exploration of this should be seen as just as valid as that of the effect of length. After all the experimental proof of a variable having no effect is just as important the ones that do.

This collection has some practical ideas and activities in each area and ends with some numerical questions.

Whilst this list provides a source of information and ideas for experimental work, it is important to note that recommendations can date very quickly. Do NOT follow suggestions which conflict with current advice from CLEAPSS, SSERC or recent safety guides. eLibrary users are responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is consistent with current regulations related to Health and Safety and that they carry an appropriate risk assessment. Further information is provided in our Health and Safety guidance