• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13
  14. 14
  15. 15

Determining the acceleration due to gravity by using simple pendulum.

Extracts from this document...



My investigation is on determining the acceleration due to gravity by using simple pendulum. Also the G apparatus (freely falling mass) can be used to determine the acceleration due to gravity.

What is acceleration due to gravity?  It is the force or pull of the gravity of the earth according to Newton’s first law a=F/m

Objects accelerate because spacetime moves past them. The surface of the earth accelerates upwards at the rate of about 10 m/s<sup>2</sup> with respect to spacetime.

  We have been told that the acceleration due to gravity of earth is 9.81 m/s² or g= 9.81 m/s², however, due to myriad of factors, g in one place differs slightly to other, as u increase the altitude the g decreases.


My plan for this investigation is to perform various experiment the determine acceleration due to gravity such as the pendulum, free falling object which is the g apparatus and also by


 The aim of this investigation is to measure the earth’s gravitational field strength, which is also the acceleration due to gravity. This involves mass, which is the amount of matter an object contains and weight, which is the force of gravity pulling down on an object with a mass. Mass is measured in Kg (kilograms) and weight is measured in Newton’s. Gravity is the weakest of the four fundamental forces, yet it is the dominant force in the universe for shaping the large-scale structure of galaxies, stars. Etc. the earth’s gravitational strength is calculated by weight (N) / mass (Kg) as stated above a =F/m therefore the earths gravitational field strength (g)

...read more.































As can be seen the points plot into a straight line. A line of best fit was added to the chart as shown. The line can be sent to go through the origin as expected, it there is a tiny pendulum, it will have a tiny period and if there is an infinitely small pendulum, an infinitely small period. The gradient was calculated to be ¼ and this was inserted into the above equation to result in g=22π2¼. This equates to g=π2. As this is 9.8696 the experiment was remarkably accurate. The units of acceleration are ms-2 which agrees with the value above. It should be observed that the graph of length over time2 was plotted. The constants π and 2 have no units so have no effect


 Uncertainties while measuring the time period T, Systematic errors are introduced if my stopwatch is systematically off by a certain amount, and by delays due to my eye-hand reaction time. The stopwatch systematic uncertainty should be listed by the manufacturer of the instrument, whereas the eye-hand uncertainty has to be estimated by myself, e.g. by measurement against a known time interval. The statistical uncertainty on T comes from the fact that my eye-hand reaction time varies from one trial to the next; it fluctuates (around the systematic value). This statistical uncertainty can be reduced by making many individual (i.e. independent) measurements and averaging; the systematic uncertainty then decreases with the square root of the number of measurements: making 10 measurements will reduce the statistical uncertainty by a factor of about (10) = 3.2


Actions taken to reduce the errors.

-Line eye up with fixed object for timing accuracy.

-Accurate stop clock (decimal seconds).

-Averaging two readings to remove human error

-Averaging twenty readings to improve accuracy b        Y factor of 20

...read more.



 Overall the free falling object method was a fair and simple experiment to determine the acceleration due to gravity. From the results my acceleration due to gravity is about 9.8054 ms-2. According to the books the value of g is 9.81ms-2 that gives a difference of about 0.0046, to calculate the percentage error it comes to about 0.046%, which states clearly my experiment, is almost as accurate it can be. Therefore I conclude that my experiment to determine the acceleration due to gravity was successful and I have achieved my aim for this experiment.


 My experiment of the free falling object method to determine the acceleration due to gravity was very simple and straightforward. To improve my experiment I could have repeated this experiment several times then I could get more accurate results, which could have taken more time out of my schedules. So time was one of the limiting factors. To improve my experiment even further I could have used modern instruments to improve and get more accurate results and also I could have used other falling object with different masses to see how the value of g varies according to their masses. I could have also used different lengths between the release mechanism and the receiver pad but measuring the distance greater than 1m was a problem because I used meter rulers to measure my lengths of the experiment this was another limiting factor that I had to overcome by taking lengths less and equal to 1m.

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Forces and Motion section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Forces and Motion essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The Simple Pendulum Experiment

    4 star(s)

    I am introducing a "reaction time" into the equation, because I am not able to react fast enough to press the button on the chronometer exactly when the pendulum starts/stops it's oscillation. To rectify this, I can measure my reaction speed using a reaction speed ruler, (see Reaction Time Experiment later)

  2. Determination of the acceleration due to gravity using a simple pendulum.

    Fair Testing (Accuracy and precision) To get an accurate set of results from this experiment it has to be fair. Here are the steps I will take to make the experiment as fair as possible. Variables * Length of the string a range of 0.20m to 1.20m (measured at regular 0.1m intervals).

  1. What affects the acceleration of a trolley down a ramp?

    0.866 35 0.820 0.840 0.800 0.820 40 0.760 0.790 0.810 0.786 45 0.720 0.710 0.730 0.720 CONCLUSION In this experiment I have predicted and proved that acceleration and velocity of a trolley down a slope is affected by the height of the slope.

  2. Period of Oscillation of a Simple Pendulum

    Only that way could we say if angle of release affects time of oscillation. Finally, length certainly does affect the time oscillation. I have proven this with two different ways. Firstly, my results follow a distinct pattern. There is a positive correlation between time of oscilation and mass.

  1. Investigating the period of a simple pendulum and measuring acceleration due to gravity.

    Period equation: T = 2? L g Straight line equation: y = mx + c. T = 2? L g T� = 4?� � L g T� = 4?� L g y = mx + c A graph between T� and L can be drawn.

  2. Measuring Acceleration due to Gravity using a simple Pendulum.

    Preliminary experiment The preliminary experiment was to check the right equipment was used and to confirm that the experiment was being conducted in the correct way to measure what needed to be deliberated. This was also a good opportunity to see what range of measurements was to be taken.

  1. The aim of this investigation is to see what the relationship between force, mass ...

    we found that we were given an artificially high mass therefore our acceleration result must have been artificially low in order to balance the equation. The only way our acceleration results could have been too low would be that other external factors were working upon the trolley; the most likely factor to do this is friction.

  2. Squash Ball and Temperature Investigation

    a good set of result such as the time the ball will be heated for before it is tested at different temperatures, the height at which it should be dropped to obtain good results and finally, which type of ball to use.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work