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# The aim of the experiment is to determine which factors affect the oscillation of a pendulum.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Introduction:

Pendulum, device consisting of an object suspended from a fixed point that swings back and forth under the influence of gravity. Pendulums are used in several kinds of mechanical devices; for example, certain types of clocks use pendulums.

The most basic type of pendulum is the simple pendulum. In a simple pendulum, which oscillates back and forth in a single plane, all the mass of the device can be considered to reside entirely in the suspended object. The motion of pendulums such as those in clocks closely approximates the motion of a simple pendulum. A spherical pendulum is not confined to a single plane, and as a result its motion can be much more complicated than the motion of a simple pendulum.

Aim:

The aim of the experiment is to determine which factors affect the oscillation of a pendulum.

Hypothesis:

The two factors I have chosen to experiment are length of the string and the angle at which the pendulum is released.

Any system, which carries out a repeated “to and fro”, is described as an oscillator. Simple examples are a mass on the end of a vertical spring, a pendulum, or a trolley tethered between two springs (A trolley oscillator). The amplitude of an oscillation is the maximum displacement of the system from its rest position. There are a number of other oscillations. Mechanical oscillations, for example, are in use everyday. The suspension units on cars and motorcycles are oscillators.

Middle

2.07

2.08

100

90

42.18

42.31

42.25

2.11

2.12

2.11

 Length of String (cm) Angle  (º) Time Taken for 20 Oscillations (s) Average Time Taken for 20 Oscillations (s) Average Time Taken for 1 Oscillation (s) Average Time Taken for a 1 Oscillation over Two Trials (s) Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 1 Trial 2 50 5 28.50 28.13 28.32 1.43 1.41 1.42 50 10 28.47 28.68 28.58 1.42 1.43 1.43 50 20 28.88 28.85 28.87 1.44 1.44 1.44 50 30 28.98 28.96 28.97 1.45 1.45 1.45 50 50 29.39 29.44 29.42 1.47 1.47 1.47 50 70 31.13 30.75 30.94 1.56 1.54 1.55 50 90 31.81 31.98 31.90 1.59 1.60 1.59
 Length of String (cm) Angle  (º) Time Taken for 20 Oscillations (s) Average Time Taken for 20 Oscillations (s) Average Time Taken for 1 Oscillation (s)

Conclusion

The metal bob hanging from the pendulum was weighed several times to make sure the mass of the pendulum was accurate. This was done so that if the experiment was broken up and then the experiment could be needed again it then I would know which was my pendulum.

The length of the string was measured accurately several times to make sure it was the correct length as if there were slight alterations then the experiment could develop wrong results.

The following sources of errors, in my opinion, have affected my results, they are: -

I feel that lining the string with the 90º on the protractor a challenge because the string would always be moving. Also aligning the string was difficult because to focus on the string and the 90º because they are both to thin lines and it was difficult to determine if the string was actually on the 90º mark.

Also to get the clamp aligned with the bench was difficult because the bench was at an angle. I needed to make sure the clamp was the string was parallel to the bench so that when the pendulum would swing it would not hit the bench.

I could have improved the experiment by timing how long it would take for 30 or 40 oscillations to take place so that it would show the exact timings of the oscillation.

In general I am happy with the outcome of this experiment.

Bibliography:

Encyclopedia,

Teachers Notes,

Own Knowledge,

Physics Matters by Nick England,

GCSE/Key Stage 4 Physics by Keith Palfreyman and Colin Maunder,

Examining GCSE Integrated Science by Barry Stone, David Andrews, and Roy Williams.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Waves & Cosmology section.

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