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Land slide

Postby starranger54 » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:20 pm


My daughter is trying to do this experiment... ... wn-a-slope

It uses pennies and clipboard with paper tower and sand paper to replicate the slope.

Can we do something realistic instead of pennies.
Like different real rocks or real surface. Not sure how it will work.

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Re: Land slide

Postby LilGreenFrog » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:19 pm

Hi Starranger, that's a good question.

I think its completely reasonable use something more realistic. It might be easiest (and give you the best data) to stick with pennies, and vary the texture of the slope you're sliding them down (maybe different types of stone?). That way you have one model surface (pennies), sliding off a variety of realistic model substrates.

I think the pennies are reasonable to mimic friction and shearing forces between two surfaces (layers of earth). They are uniform in weight distribution, surface smoothness and profile height. This makes them unlikely to start tumbling instead of sliding, which would mess up your experiment.

I hope that helps; please let us know if you have more questions!
Molecular and cellular biologist

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Re: Land slide

Postby cnoonan180 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:23 pm

Hello and welcome!

As LilGreenFrog said, pennies are uniform in weight distribution, surface smoothness, and profile height, which makes them ideal for the landslide experiment. However, you may want to use the pennies as a control group for your experiment, and then pick different types of stone to slide down the same surface in addition to the pennies. The stones would ideally have the same characteristics as the pennies in terms of equal weight distribution, surface smoothness, and profile height to make sure your data is accurate to compare.

This does change the experiment slightly, but if you would really like to use different materials to slide down the landslide, the best thing to do would be above. If you wanted to test several types of stone on different surfaces, that would also be possible, though it may be too much data for a single science fair experiment as you would have too many variables for one project.

Hope this helps and feel free to ask more questions!

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