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Factors affecting the period of a Pendulum.

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Physics Coursework Factors affecting the period of a Pendulum Possible Variables: Angle of pull back - I did a quick experiment (see below) and proved that this makes no difference. Type of string - this is a discrete variable and would not give good results for a graph. Mass on the end of the String - this would be a good choice, but after a quick experiment I decided that the length makes more difference. Length of the String (distance of centre of mass from pivot) - I will investigate this variable. Experiment to show the angle of pullback makes little or no difference Length: 50cm, Mass: 200g Angle of pullback/degrees Time for five oscillations/sec Attempt 1 Attempt 2 20 7.05 6.98 50 7.01 7.10 These readings are very similar and although this doesn't prove that the angle of pullback has no effect, it shows that within the accuracy of this experiment it has no effect. I think that this is because if you pull it back further, then although the mass has further to fall, all that time it is accelerating and so it moves faster. ...read more.


There were two readings that were obviously very wrong which I omitted and repeated. I measured the length of the string before and after to check that it had not slipped. Distance of centre of mass from pivot/cm Time for 5 oscillations Attempt 1/sec Attempt 2/sec Attempt 3/sec Average time for 5 oscillations/sec Average time for 1 oscillation/sec 20 4.44 4.50 4.49 4.47 0.895 30 5.43 5.45 5.49 5.46 1.091 40 6.14 6.24 6.19 6.19 1.238 50 7.00 7.00 7.10 7.03 1.407 60 7.44 7.58 7.48 7.50 1.500 70 8.27 8.25 8.29 8.27 1.654 80 8.78 8.68 8.68 8.74 1.748 90 9.44 9.32 9.35 9.37 1.874 100 9.86 9.88 9.84 9.86 1.972 110 10.49 10.50 10.54 10.51 2.102 120 10.92 11.00 11.03 10.98 2.197 130 11.43 11.35 11.37 11.38 2.277 Conclusion I predicted that the period would be proportional to the square root of the length of the string so to test this I drew a graph of the square root of the length against the period, hoping that I would get a straight line through the origin, and with this I would be able to work out what k is (in the formula p = kVL). ...read more.


The measurements of distance were to the nearest two centimetres and were measured from the centre of mass (I considered the string to be of negligible mass when finding the centre of mass, this may have been an oversight, but I could see no easy way of weighing it and keeping it straight out). The measurements of time were measured to the nearest hundredth of a second, but my reaction time would have made the last digit mostly irrelevant. However, I thought my reaction time would have been similar for each reading that it would add an extra bit of accuracy, and as the readings were generally so close, I left it in there. As I said in the conclusion, every point was within one per cent of the straight-line p = 0.197*V130. This was very pleasing, and showed the accuracy of the experiment. Wind resistance obviously didn't play a huge part, and the string was obviously thin enough not to impede the swing of the pendulum. Resources used: I looked up the formula on the internet site below, but as I understood it I put it in my hypothesis http://www.educationplanet.com/search/redirect?id=25782&mfcount=1&mfkw=pendulum&startval=0 H.E.Guinness 5/3/2007 ...read more.

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