An investigation of the simple pendulum

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An investigation of the simple pendulum

Procedure a Show a demonstration pendulum and ask students to think about the variables that may affect the time period for one oscillation. Teaching notes 1 You may need to explain what one oscillation for a pendulum is motion 'there and back again'. Variables to investigate include the mass of the pendulum bob, length of the pendulum best measured to centre of boband initial amplitude angle or displacement.

Reduce the uncertainty in a measurement of periodic time by: The percentage uncertainty which this 0. Students could carry out simple error calculations to discover, for example, the effect of a human reaction time of 0.

You may wish to get them to estimate the human reaction time or measure it as a separate activity. There are many web-based activities freely available.

Improve the accuracy of a measurement of periodic time by making timings by sighting the bob past a fixed reference point called a 'fiducial point' sighting the bob as it moves fastest past a reference point. The pendulum swings fastest at its lowest point and slowest at the top of each swing.

This provides an excellent opportunity for planning, carrying out and evaluating an investigation using multiple skills. The number of variables is limited but there is enough scope to allow students to develop an approach and select appropriate ranges and intervals.

Investigation of a simple pendulum

Students often assume that any sensibly selected independent variable will always have an effect upon the dependent variable. Many may decide to investigate the effect of the mass of the bob, which yields an unexpected counter-intuitive result: Proving that there is no link between two variables can be just as significant as finding one.

The introductory discussion can put the pendulum into a scientific and historical context by describing the development of timing devices.

Start with the hours of a day as one of the simplest units of time, easily measured with a sundial. Use this to introduce Galileo Galilei and the possibly apocryphal story that his understanding of the behaviour of pendulums was spurred by observing the bronze chandelier or incense burner in the cathedral at Pisa.

Galileo's pendulum introduced a method of measuring short periods of time that improved on the use of the human pulse. You could extend this timeline by describing further developments in timing devices, right up to the atomic clock usually containing caesium which is accurate to within seconds per day.

For students who take a particular interest in the measurement of time, suggest the book Longitude by Dava Sobel ISBNwhich provides further background about the development of clocks and their use in navigation. It also has some examples of the struggles that can happen in the development of science and technology.

This experiment was safety-checked in January I will be investigating the effect of the length of a pendulum’s string on the time for the period of that pendulum. Given my previous knowledge, I know that a pendulum behaves in an to conserve paper on the lab and also because I believe that further investigation would have distracted from the purpose of this lab.

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An investigation of the simple pendulum

a Show a demonstration pendulum and ask students to think about the variables that may affect the time period for one oscillation. b Ask students to select one independent variable, collecting a set of data to investigate its effect on the oscillation time.

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An investigation of the simple pendulum

Does the mass of the pendulum affect the time taken for the pendulum to swing? Does the length of the pendulum affect the time?/5(12).

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Simple gravity pendulum. The simple gravity pendulum is an idealized mathematical model of a pendulum. This is a weight (or bob) on the end of a massless cord suspended from a pivot, without given an initial push, it will swing back and forth at a constant pendulums are subject to friction and air drag, so the amplitude of their swings declines.

19 TAC Chapter , Subchapter C