Dependent Variables

This is a simple lab in which you will able to create your own capacitor, but first of all we must understand what a capacitor is and how it works. I capacitor is an electric circuit element used to store charge temporarily, consisting in general of two metallic plates separated and insulated from each other by a dielectric. In other words it’s a device that holds and electrical charge and then releases it all at once. It is not a battery/cell. It does not create electricity. It just holds it. This experiment is going to consist of using a book as a capacitor.

Research question How does the amount of pages between the aluminum foil (x) affect the amount of charge/farads (y) the book can hold? Independent Variables: The number of pages between the aluminum foil Dependent Variables: The number of farads/ amount of charge the book holds Control Variables: The book, the cables, and the environment Hypothesis By adding more pages between the foils the amount of charge the book can hold should increase because the volume increases between the foils.Method Measuring the variables -Voltmeter -Book -Two sheets of aluminum foil -Two cables that attach to the voltmeter To measure the amount of farads the foil will hold you must hook everything up as seem in the latter diagram. The voltmeter must be set to farads and connected to both ends of the foils sticking out of the book.

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To change the distance between the sheets of foil just add a page or two each time between the sheets of foil. To make sure that your controlled variables are controlled don’t move the book and use the same book each time. Also make sure you are in the same room and place as the first trial, not that it makes a difference but just to be safe.We will be doing ten trials ranging from 1 to 40 pages apart. Well judging but the data I collected my hypothesis was completely wrong. In fact it was the complete opposite, the book held less charge.

Well there seem to be some outliers but that’s because I skipped a few pages. I know that if I did forty trials, each one page further apart, then the graph would look like a perfect line. Unfortunately that is called human error. I would say its 10% human error and about 5% apparatus error.The apparatus error is because each time the voltmeter was used the battery was being drained which means it was not able to send as much electricity as the previous times.

The environment really was not a problem but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Some ways of improving this experiment is using a more accurate and precise voltmeter and more trials, also using a new battery each time but with the exact same voltage as the previous one. This way the human error and apparatus error would be somewhat lowered.