Throughout the course of conducting this experiment
we have held certain expectations, and the results we have observed
have met these expectations. In making our hypothesis we compared
the pressure capacity of a balloon when you factor in the outside
pressure exerted on it. With this in mind, we know at greater
depths it would take greater interior pressure to rupture the
balloon due to the fact that pressure increases at greater depths.
The reason pressure increases at greater depths is because there
are more and more pounds of water on top of you as you continue
descend to greater depths. Because of this there have been measurements
for the amount of pressure on a body in units called atmospheres.
At sea level, there is a level of pressure in pounds per square
inch of 14.7, or one atmosphere. Underwater, for every 33 feet
their is an additional atmosphere of pressure exerted upon a body,
or an additional amount of 14.7 psi (pounds per square inch).
This factor explains why pressure increases on sinuses, and there
is an imminent danger of an air embolism. An air embolism is when
a lung ruptures due to highly pressured air inside the lung expanding
as the atmospheric pressure upon the lung decreases. This is common
in scuba diving since the regulator (air distributor) distributes
more pressurized air to the lungs as atmospheric pressure increases.
In other words, the deeper you go the more air is required to
fill your lungs. This is why when one holds one's breath while
ascending to the surface after breathing from a regulator at deeper
depths, one can get an air embolism. This is due to the fact that
air increases in volume as outside pressure decreases. In our
experiment we tested the concept of Boyle's law, using balloons
in representation of lungs to find a pattern in the relationship
between the interior and exterior pressure upon a lung.
After completing our experiment we have observed that our results do in fact prove Boyle's law and our predictions for the results of this project. To our great joy we have been fortunate enough to have stumbled across a formula incorporating the relationship between the pressure required to burst the balloon and its corresponding depth. The formula is as follows:
B= total pressure inside the balloon to burst (this includes atmospheric pressure)
X= additional pressure needed inside the balloon in order for it to rupture.
B= 2X + 9
Depth of balloon =5 ft
Additional pressure required to burst the balloon= 4 psi
Overall pressure inside the balloon in order for it to burst= 18.85
18.85=2(4) + 9
As we are sure you have noticed, the formula
does not produce a completely accurate answer. However, we attribute
this to the fact that our results are approximated and that it
is impossible to get a truly accurate formula. We realize that
our formula could actually be completely incorrect, for we have
based this formula on the results we have obtained in our experiment.
With more advanced and accurate measuring systems, a truly accurate
formula could be obtained. With what we have obtained, we have
come to the conclusion that the relationship between the outside
pressure upon a lung and the interior pressure required to burst
the lung is linear. However, one must keep in mind that the size
and strength of the fibers of the balloon are not equivalent to
that of a lung. In order apply this formula, one must factor in
a ratio comparing the strength and size of a lung to a balloon.
The significance of this experiment was not soley meant to find
the exact coordinates at which a lung bursts, but to make a control
or a factor (such as pie is) for future experiments. With high
hopes and a quixotic outlook, our research will help scientists
find new formulas related to Boyle's Law. With all of this in
mind, we can conclude that the results of this experiment have
proved Boyle's Law to its full extent.
Although we feel this lab has been highly successful, we do realize that there is a significant amount of problems and error in our results. For one, we had constant problems with the consistent durability of the balloons used to represent the lung. During the course of our experiment, we had several trials in which the balloon ruptured before we were even able to begin the experiment. Other times, it would be so resilient that it would next to impossible to pop. In addition, air was constantly leaking from the juncture at which the pump met the hose, furthering our error. The nature of this project required one person on land and one managing the balloon under water. Because of this, it made it difficult for the person on land to know the exact time at which the balloon popped, due to lack of communications. In our opinion, the biggest factor of error was that the measuring of pressure was reasonably inaccurate, since the measuring of pressure was based upon that of a gauge. In addition, the reading of the gauge was purely reliant upon the eye of the one recording the experiment on land. If we could do this experiment again, there would be many changes we would make to the design of the experiment that would minimize the error of our results.
After witnessing the overall effect of our experiment, we have found several changes and areas for further study that would enhance the quality of our findings on this subject. Many of the changes we would make to our experiment would decrease error and solve problems that we had while conducting this experiment. For one, we would need to improve communications between the two conducting the experiment. This would give a more precise time for when the balloon bursts and the pressure at which it bursts. An improvement in the weight systems would help greatly in the ease of the experiment. This weight system would be used to counter balance the overly buoyant balloon. An increase in the trials would also improve accuracy by getting a more rounded result. The final and most important part that would improve this project would be to develop a more accurate way to record the exact pressure it took to burst the balloon underwater. A digital display with recording capabilities, such as a computer, would help the most to take away all human error. Given the time we were limited to, we were not able to use these advanced methods of recording.