() ()
such that: R =reaction force by table on
electronic balance
B =reaction force of B
W(eb) =weight of electronic
balance
W(bk)=weight of beaker
From figure 4, the reading on the electronic
balance is proportional to the sum of W(bk) and
B, as both forces act downwards on the sensor of
the balance. However, as the balance is tared, W(bk) equals constant zero. As such,
reading is dependent only on B. From this, I can also deduce that, since B=B and B is
constant anywhere in the detergent, the reading should be independent of the relative
position of bead in the detergent, provided the bead is fully submerged and the density of
detergent is the same throughout.
With this deduction, cases R1 and R3 are the same and can be represented in the same
way. However, there is a possibility that R3 values may be lower than R1. As R2
involved submerged part of the thread in the detergent, when the thread is then raised to
take reading for R3, some detergent may stick to the thread and be lifted above the
surface of the detergent. Thus, there may be a net decrease in the mass of detergent in the
beaker. This can be proven if by lifting the bead out of the detergent, and allowing all
detergent to drip back into the beaker, the balance shows a negative reading.
Figure 3: Freebody diagram of Bead
(R1/R3)
Figure 4: Freebody diagram of
Electronic Balance (R1/R3)
Page 6
R2
In figure 5, as the bead is in equilibrium, there
should be zero net force acting on the bead. Thus,
the forces follow the equation:
such that, W=Weight of bead
B =Buoyant Force on bead
N =Reaction Force by Electronic
Balance on Bead
According to Newtons 3
rd
Law, N will have an
equal and opposite force by bead on electronic
balance (N).
In figure 6, as the bead is in equilibrium, there
should be zero net force acting on the bead. Thus,
the forces follow the equation:
() ()
such that: B =Reaction force of B
N =Reaction force of N
From figure 6, the reading on the electronic
balance is proportional to the sum of B and N,
as all 3 forces act downwards on the sensor of the
balance. Comparing this to the reading in R1
which is proportional to only B, the reading in
R2 should be larger than R1. However, the R2
reading for B1 in the table (mean = 0.068g) is
lower than R1 (mean = 0.078g), thus, reflecting a
contradiction with the predicted result.
To address this contradiction, we regarded the reading for R2 in B1 as an anomaly, and
repeated the experiment with B2 and B3. The results in B2 and B3 show conclusively
that the reading for R2 should be larger than R1.
Figure 6: FreeBody Diagram of
Electronic Balance (R2)
Figure 5: Freebody diagram of Bead (R2)
Page 7
R4
In figure 7, as the bead is in equilibrium when it
is travelling at constant velocity, there should be
zero net force acting on the bead. Thus, the
forces follow the equation:
such that, W=Weight of bead
B =Buoyant Force on bead
T =Tension of thread on bead
D = Drag on bead
According to Newtons 3
rd
Law, D will have an
equal and opposite force by bead on electronic
balance (D).
In figure 8, as the bead is in equilibrium, there
should be zero net force acting on the bead. Thus,
the forces follow the equation:
() ()
such that: B =Reaction force of B
D =Reaction force of D
From figure 6, the reading on the electronic
balance is proportional to (BD), as D acts in
the direction opposite to B. As it is impossible
for a human hand to lift bead up continuously at
exactly the same velocity, there is a large margin
of human error, resulting in a large range of
fluctuating readings. However, the readings show a general decreasing trend as the
upward velocity increases from rest. This is because Drag (D) is proportional to speed at
relatively slow speeds; thus, as the magnitude of velocity (i.e. the speed) increases, D also
increases, resulting in a decrease in (BD) for D=D.
In addition, it is possible for the reading to turn negative because B<D, BD<0. This
can happen when the lifting speed increases continuously, causing the reading to decrease
from positive to zero and to negative.
Figure 7:Freebody diagram of Bead (R4)
Figure 8: FreeBody Diagram of
Electronic Balance (R4)
Page 8
R5
In figure 9, as the bead is initially in
disequilibrium, there should be nonzero net
force acting on the bead. Thus, the forces follow
the equation:
such that, W =Weight of bead
B =Buoyant Force on bead
D =Drag of detergent on bead
Drag Force(D) changes as the bead accelerate
downwards in the detergent due to gravity. As
speed of bead increases, D increases and, thus,
(B+D) increases. Equilibrium is attained when:
Such that, <D> = Drag on bead at its
terminal velocity
Then, bead will travel downwards at constant
speed towards the base of the beaker.
In Figure 10, as the bead is in equilibrium, there
should be zero net force acting on the bead. Thus,
the forces follow the equation:
() ()
Such that, B =Reaction force of B
D =Reaction force of D
From Figure 10, the reading on the electronic balance is proportional to (B+D). As such,
the reading R5 should stabilise when the terminal velocity is reached, when drag(D) takes
a fixed value <D>.
From R2,
From R5,
As such, N=<D>;
N= D at terminal velocity(v
T
);
(B+N)=(B+D at v
T
).
Thus, reading R2=reading R5 at v
T
. This is supported by reading R2 (mean = 0.189g) and
R5 (mean = 0.190g) in B2.
Figure 10: FreeBody Diagram of
Electronic Balance (R5)
Figure 9: FreeBody Diagram of Bead (R5)
Page 9
Measurement of Terminal Velocity
The 3 tables below show the time taken for beads (B1, B2, B3) to travel a distance of
5cm downwards for 9 different intervals along the plastic column. There are 5 repeated
measurements for bead of each size.
Reading x/cm
T
1
/s for B1
1a 1b 1c 1d 1e
1 510 30.90 31.81 31.05 30.75 30.98
2 1116 29.97 31.10 30.80 30.30 30.75
3 1722 29.69 29.96 29.90 30.10 30.68
4 2328 29.41 30.19 30.18 30.15 30.70
5 2934 29.93 29.60 30.17 29.58 29.80
6 3540 29.69 29.50 29.61 28.67 28.96
7 4146 28.40 28.81 29.54 28.70 29.05
8 4752 28.53 28.57 28.89 29.03 28.93
9 5358 28.40 28.53 28.87 28.90 28.80
Reading x/cm
T
3
/s for B3
3a 3b 3c 3d 3e
1 510 8.87 9.08 9.04 9.07 8.97
2 1116 8.74 8.34 8.56 8.89 8.89
3 1722 8.37 8.53 8.71 8.80 8.76
4 2328 8.49 8.31 8.30 8.53 8.81
5 2934 8.29 8.37 8.19 8.19 8.56
6 3540 8.41 8.50 8.56 8.20 8.30
7 4146 8.30 8.75 8.74 8.75 8.42
8 4752 8.47 8.76 8.40 8.64 8.68
9 5358 8.23 8.65 8.35 8.56 8.54
Reading x/cm
T
2
/s for B2
2a 2b 2c 2d 2e
1 510 17.87 17.95 17.94 17.97 17.79
2 1116 17.33 17.90 17.79 17.97 17.60
3 1722 17.02 16.90 16.91 17.13 17.35
4 2328 16.60 16.98 17.03 16.88 17.00
5 2934 16.80 17.03 16.97 16.85 17.10
6 3540 16.50 16.98 17.04 16.92 17.16
7 4146 16.88 17.22 17.12 16.68 16.95
8 4752 16.79 16.97 17.09 16.85 16.62
9 5358 16.84 17.03 16.99 16.89 16.73
Page
10
Graph of time taken for a bead to travel 5cm (s) against reading number, which represents
the distance (x) along the plastic column, is plotted for B1, B2, and B3 respectively.
Small Bead (B1)
Medium Bead (B2)
T
1
T
2
Page
11
The 3 graphs above show the rough fit of a downward trend for the initial readings. From
the graphs, time (T) appears to approach a particular constant as the gradient of graph
tend towards zero. As velocity is displacement per unit time, by fixing the value of
displacement for each reading at 5cm, when the change in time taken(T) for multiple
subsequent readings (near the final reading 9
th
reading) becomes increasingly smaller,
this means that the velocity of bead also approaches a constant value i.e. terminal
velocity (v
t
).
Referring to all 3 graphs above, the time taken (T) generally appears to approach a
constant after the 5
th
reading (2934cm). Therefore, the average time taken can be
calculated by taking only the values of (T) for the last 5 readings 5
th
, 6
th
, 7
th
, 8
th
, and 9
th
reading.
Large Bead (B3)
T
3
Page
12
The 3 tables below show the mean time taken for a bead to travel 5cm for measurements
of time when value of x exceeds 29cm average of readings 5 to 9 for all 5 sets of
measurements respectively.
Small Bead (B1)
Reading 1a 1b 1c 1d 1e
Average reading
for x>29/s
28.99 29.00 29.42 28.98 29.11
Final Average/s 29.10
Medium Bead (B2)
Reading 2a 2b 2c 2d 2e
Average reading
for x>29/s
16.76 17.05 17.04 16.84 16.91
Final Average/s 16.92
Large Bead (B3)
Reading 3a 3b 3c 3d 3e
Average reading
for x>29/s
8.34 8.61 8.45 8.47 8.50
Final Average/s 8.47
Page
13
The table below shows the measurement of mass of bead B1, B2, and B3 respectively
with 3 repeated readings, in order to calculate the average mass of bead. Calibrated
electronic balance was used.
M
1
/g 0.001 M
2
/g 0.001 M
3
/g 0.001 <M>/g 0.001
B1 0.069 0.070 0.070 0.070
B2 0.182 0.182 0.182 0.182
B3 0.937 0.936 0.937 0.937
The table below shows the measurement of diameter of bead B1, B2 and B3 respectively
with 3 repeated readings, in order to calculate the average diameter of bead. Micrometer
Screw Gauge was used. Then, the average radius of bead for all 3 sizes are determined.
D
1
/mm 0.01 D
2
/mm 0.01 D
3
/mm 0.01 <D>/mm 0.01 <r>/mm 0.005
B1 4.58 4.58 4.59 4.58 2.290
B2 6.31 6.31 6.32 6.31 3.155
B3 10.95 10.95 10.95 10.95 5.575
Computation of uncertainty values
Calculate of absolute uncertainty of V
T
AV
T
=
Ax
x

\

.

2
+
At
t

\

.

2

\

.
 V
T
For small bead (B1),
) 17182 . 0 (
10 . 29
01 . 0
0 . 5
1 . 0
2 2


.

\


.

\

+

.

\

= A
T
V
= 3.436933 x 10
3
cm s
1
= 3.4 x 10
5
m s
1
For medium bead (B2),
) 29551 . 0 (
92 . 16
01 . 0
0 . 5
1 . 0
2 2


.

\


.

\

+

.

\

= A
T
V
= 5.91278 x 10
3
cm s
1
= 5.9 x 10
5
m s
1
For large bead (B3),
) 590319 . 0 (
47 . 8
01 . 0
0 . 5
1 . 0
2 2


.

\


.

\

+

.

\

= A
T
V
= 1.18269 x 10
2
cm s
1
= 1.2 x 10
4
m s
1
Page
14
Calculation of absolute uncertainty of radius
Ar =
Ad
2
, Where
d is diameter of bead, r is radius of bead
For beads of all sizes
2
01 . 0
= Ar
= 0.005 mm
= 5 x 10
3
m
Calculation of absolute uncertainty of volume of sphere
AV
b
= 3
Ar
r

\

.

2
V
b
, Where V
b
is volume of bead
For small bead (B1),
) 3031 . 50 (
) 290 . 2 (
) 005 . 0 (
3
2


.

\

= A
b
V
= 0.329497 mm
3
= 3.3 x 10
10
m
3
For medium bead (B2),
) 549 . 131 (
) 155 . 3 (
) 005 . 0 (
3
2


.

\

= A
b
V
= 0.625430 mm
3
= 6.3 x 10
10
m
3
For large bead (B3),
) 810 . 725 (
) 575 . 5 (
) 005 . 0 (
3
2


.

\

= A
b
V
= 1.95285 mm
3
= 2.0 x 10
9
m
3
Calculation of Viscosity
Using the average values of V
T
, the radius of the beads, mass of the bead, density of the
detergent, we can calculate the viscosity
q using equation (2);
For smallest bead
.
) 17182 . 0 )( 229 . 0 ( 6
) 981 )( 207 . 1 ( ) 229 . 0 (
3
4
) 981 ( 070 . 0
3
t
t
q
=
= 12.2800 g cm s
2
/ cm
2
s
1
= 1.22800 Pa s
Page
15
= 1228.0 m Pa s
= 1228 cps
Difference compared to accepted reading = (1410 1228)/(1410) x 100%
= 12.9%
For medium bead
.
) 29551 . 0 )( 3155 . 0 ( 6
) 981 )( 207 . 1 ( ) 3155 . 0 (
3
4
) 981 ( 182 . 0
3
t
t
q
=
= 12.9620 g cm s
2
/ cm
2
s
1
= 1.29620 Pa s
= 1296.20 m Pa s
= 1296 cps
Difference compared to accepted reading = (1410 1296)/(1410) x 100%
= 8.08511%
For large bead
.
) 590319 . 0 )( 5575 . 0 ( 6
) 981 )( 207 . 1 ( ) 5575 . 0 (
3
4
) 981 ( 937 . 0
3
t
t
q
=
= 9.63800 g cm s
2
/ cm
2
s
1
= 0.963800 Pa s
= 963.800 m Pa s
= 964 cps
Difference compared to accepted reading = (1410 964)/(1410) x 100%
= 31.6%
Average
q = (1228.0 + 1296.2 + 963.8) / 3
= 1162.7 m Pa s
= 1163 cps
Difference compared to accepted reading = (1410 1163)/(1410) x 100%
= 17.5%
Page
16
Calculation of absolute uncertainty of viscosity
Aq =
AV
b
V
b

\

.

2
+
Ar
r

\

.

2
+
AV
T
V
T

\

.

2

\

.


q
For small bead,
1228
172 . 0
10 * 4 . 3
290 . 2
005 . 0
10 * 0 . 5
10 * 3 . 3
2
5
2 2
8
10


.

\



.

\

+


.

\

+


.

\

= A
q
= 8.5 cps
For medium bead,
1296
296 . 0
10 * 9 . 5
3155 . 0
005 . 0
10 * 3 . 1
10 * 3 . 6
2
5
2
2
7
10


.

\



.

\

+ 
.

\

+


.

\

= A
q
= 21.5 cps
For large bead,
964
590 . 0
10 * 2 . 1
5575 . 0
005 . 0
10 * 3 . 7
10 * 0 . 2
2
4
2
2
7
9


.

\



.

\

+ 
.

\

+


.

\

= A
q
= 9.04 cps
As such, average of
Aq = (8.5 + 21.5 + 9.04) / 3
= 13.0 cps
From the calculated results above, we can see that the viscosity values for the small and
medium beads are relatively nearer to the actual value of 1410cps, whereas the viscosity
value for the large bead drifted quite far away from the actual value, with a deviation of
31.6% (highest among the 3).
In overall, this deviation can also be seen as possible evidence to prove the direct causal
relationship between size of bead and the viscosity of the liquid detergent. This means
that change in bead size may directly cause a change in the viscosity of detergent around
its motion pathway.
On the other hand, the constant negative deviation from the actual viscosity for all 3
values of viscosity being lower than the actual value can also suggest that detergent is a
nonNewtonian fluid, making the procedure of determination of viscosity in this
experiment less ideal as the final value would be less predictable.
Page
17
Systematic error
The true viscosity value of 1410cps is most determined in a highly controlled
environment where factors like surrounding temperature, and pressure are carefully
maintained to be constant. Besides, the equipment that we use may be inferior to the
equipment used to determine the true value in terms of accuracy and precision.
Human error
In the measurement of time with a stopwatch, human reaction error can be a significant
factor in determining the accuracy of the measurement. For we have to take readings
while the bead is in motion falling through the column of detergent, the accuracy of the
readings really depend on the reaction time of the person measuring the time and his
ability to multitask as he needs to measure time with a stopwatch, while observing the
scale on column. This effect is amplified with the large bead, as it has a higher terminal
velocity and will travel faster through the column. As the ratio of human reaction time to
the final measurement of time increases, there is a higher percentage error which might
explain the large deviation for the large bead (B3) of 31.6% for calculated viscosity value
through this experiment.
Conclusions
We measured the terminal velocities of beads of three different sizes falling through a
column of Mama Lemon liquid detergent, and found these to be v
T
= (171.83.4)*10
5
m/s, (295.55.9)*10
5
m/s, and (59.01.2)*10
4
m/s for the small, medium, and large
beads respectively. Assuming that the viscous drag experienced by the bead is given by
Stokes law in Equation (1), we inferred the viscosity of the liquid detergent to be
1162.713.0 cps. This differs by 17.5% from the accepted value of 1410 cps. We
believe this deviation is largely due to human error as the time needed for humans to
react consistently produce a random error to our measurement of time. As such, we
cannot accurately determine the viscosity value as time is one of the few most important
factors that is used to calculate the final value of viscosity.
References
Physics for Scientists and Engineers with Modern Physics 8
th
Edition, by John W. Jewett,
Jr. Raymond A. Serway.
Wikipedia.org
http://www.physics.unc.edu