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Coursework Investigation: the Pendulum

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Introduction

Coursework investigation: The Pendulum How the simple pendulum was discovered: Galileo was once attending a church service at the cathedral Pisa when a lamp distracted his attention that was suspended from the roof by a chain swinging. He noticed the time of swing of the lamp remained constant even when the oscillations were fading. The lamp was behaving as a pendulum. Galileo realised that a pendulum could be used to run a clock. Galileo left plans for making this clock when he died in 1642, and in 1657 the Dutch scientist, Christian Huygens, made the first successful pendulum clock. Prediction: I predict that the longer the string is, the longer the pendulum period will become. This is because the pendulum has to travel further to reach the same angle of displacement and because the force of the gravity is the same no matter what the length of the string is, so the acceleration will be the same. So the pendulum that has to travel the furthest will take the longest amount of time. ...read more.

Middle

5. Do this twice for every length of string that you use. Increase the length of string by 10cm and repeat. Fair Test and Accuracy / plan for precision: To assure that my test is fair I have compiled a list of rules that I must obey. If I follow these rules devotedly my results will be precise. ? Do the experiment twice, as this will help me to gain accurate results. ? Use a protractor to measure the 40� angle for the pendulum. ? Use the same watch to time the experiment. ? Make sure that nobody walks past your experiment; otherwise the wind will pick up and affect the swing of the pendulum. ? Do the test on five different lengths of string, to insure accuracy. ? Use the same pendulum bob, so that the weight will definitely be the same. ? Do not push the pendulum when letting go of it. Results Obtaining Evidence: A table showing the period of a pendulum according to the length of it's string, measured in seconds. ...read more.

Conclusion

My results were taken correct to two decimal places, so they are not absolutely accurate, but there was no way that I could have taken them to the correct amount to decimal places, as I did not have the equipment to do so. I could have improved the experiment by using some sort of device to hold the pendulum string and let go of it without using any force, as this would be far more reliable than doing it manually. I did my experiment twice, so this way I was able to work out an average. Having average result is good, as it is more accurate then the two other results, and helps reduce the effects of anomalous results. I could have made my experiment much more accurate obtain a very precise average result. I could have extended my investigation by using a different type of material to replace the pendulum bob. For instance, I could have used a wooden bob and compared the period of the pendulum with that of the period of a pendulum when using a normal pendulum bob. I could have also changed the weight of pendulum bob to see if that affected the period of the pendulum. ...read more.

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