• 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
  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Science
  • Document length: 2067 words

Investigate the factors which affect the period of one swing (oscillation) of a simple pendulum.

Extracts from this document...


Pendulum Aim: To investigate the factors which affect the period of one swing (oscillation) of a simple pendulum. The factors I will use are length of the string, and angle that the bob is released from. Hypothesis: 1. Length of string I think that the length of the string directly affects the period of one oscillation. The mathematical formula used to describe the period of the pendulum is: T= 2??V/g T is the period (time for one swing - seconds) is the length of the pendulum (metres) g is the acceleration dues to gravity. (N/KG) (Length) is in the formula, clearly indicating that it is a factor which will directly affect the period of time. To see whether the time period will increase or decrease when the length is increased, I will substitute the formula for numbers to see the result. Length 0.3, g-force = 9.8N/KG T= 2? V/g T = 2??V0.3/9.8 T = 1.009s Length 0.4, g-force = 9.8N/KG T= 2? V/g T = 2??V0.4/9.8 T = 1.269s The calculations above show that when the length of the pendulum is 0.3m, the time for one oscillation is 1.009s. ...read more.


The statement ? T can be justified by taking values from the graph, for example when the length of the string is 5cm T= 0.481 and when the length is doubled to 10cm T= 0.651, which shows T is almost doubled. The table below shows actual results compared to the theoretical by working out the percentage error by this formula, percentage error= (actual error (actual result- theoretical results)/ exact value (theoretical results)) x 100: Length of string (cm) Theoretical prediction Actual results Percentage error 5 0.449 0.481 7% 10 0.635 0.651 2.5% 15 0.777 0.862 11% 20 0.898 0.877 2% 25 1.004 1.014 1% 30 1.099 1.129 2% 35 1.187 1.221 5% 40 1.269 1.267 0.2% 45 1.345 1.328 1% 50 1.419 1.489 5% My average percentage error is 3.6% which suggests that our results are fairly accurate. Experiment 2 By looking at the results obtained from my graph I found that the angle of amplitude did affect the period of oscillation, however in a very slow rate. Also I found some anomalous results in this experiment which could have been because we did not follow one of our control variables. ...read more.


at the table I can now base my results on a sound prediction and say that the stronger the gravitational field strength is of a planet the faster the time period is of one oscillation and the weaker the gravitational field strength the slower the time period of one oscillation. o I cannot continue this investigation, since my school does not have the resources for me to experiment on other planets. This controlled-falling system is a weight (bob) suspended by a string from a fixed point so that it can swing freely under the influence of gravity. If the bob is pushed or pulled sideways, it can't move just horizontally, but has to move on the circle whose radius is the length of the supporting string. It has to move upward from where it started as well as sideways. If the bob is now let go, it falls because gravity is pulling it back down. It can't fall straight down, but has to follow the circular path defined by its support. This is "controlled falling": the path is always the same, it can be reproduced time after time, and variations in the set-up can be used to test their effect on the falling behaviour. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

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

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

3 star(s)

Response to the question

This is a good essay that ties experiment and theory together quite well. The student has answered the question of what factors affect the time period of an oscillation well. He has at first looked at his theory to determine ...

Read full review

Response to the question

This is a good essay that ties experiment and theory together quite well. The student has answered the question of what factors affect the time period of an oscillation well. He has at first looked at his theory to determine that length will likely determine the time period, and he has also used his initiative to think that angle and mass may affect the time period even though the theory says they do not. He has made a prediction based on his theory and on his intuition, however I would of recommended rather than just going on intuition he should of checked his theory to see what the theory predicts would happen in terms of increase in mass and increase in angle.

Level of analysis

The student clearly lays out his method which I would recommend always doing as it is best to know what you are doing before you do it, you don't want to be confused as to what to do when you get to the experiment. He calculates all his errors which is very helpful as it both adds depth to the coursework and helps to stop you from making incorrect conclusions, as you can see if the results could be due to errors. However he works out the error by comparing it to how the theory predicts the result should be, you should not do this. Make sure to calculate errors the regular way. He uses theory to calculate why the speed is not determined by the mass of the bob, which adds a lot of depth. However it could have been done easier by realise that the force is determined by the mass, but so is the acceleration, therefore since F=ma, since F is the mass multiplied by another value, you can put the equation as mk=ma, and the mas cancel. You could go into more depth and determine what determines k.

Quality of writing

The student's grammar and spelling is fine and so is his layout. However he should of made repeats and calculated an average to increase reliability, and he should of made a table for each of his experiments. He could of also plotted a graph to determine how his variables are proportional to each other.

Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by jackhli 28/02/2012

Read less
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)

    Therefore I have decided to secure the clamp stand to a stool, and then place this on the table, thus increasing the height of the pendulum's pivotal point. A very obvious problem is the inaccuracy of my time keeping. As I am judging when the pendulum's oscillation stops and starts,

  2. Marked by a teacher

    The purpose of this experiment is to see what factors affect the period of ...

    4 star(s)

    Try to create as little friction as possible where the string is attached to the clamp. 2. Let go with out adding any extra forces. 3. Kept the string taut. 4. Make sure the mass and swing size remain the same in each test in case they have a small effect on the results.

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

    By making this change I affected the value for the gradient and the resulting value for 'g'. A table showing the calculations of the errors in this experiment Percentage Error = Absolute Error / Value of Quantity x 100% Percentage Error in Length = 0.001m/Length x 100% -Absolute Error in

  2. Physics Lab - Conservation of momentum

    Conclusion The law of conservation states that when two bodies come into contact, as in a collision, the momentum remains constant. The results from this experiment do not indicate the precise values that the law says should be derived, but the results are not completely accurate, due to various factors.

  1. Helicopter Investigation.

    Results Number of paperclips Time when dropped (s) Time when helicopter reached terminal velocity (s) Average time when started to spin (s) Time when it hit the floor (s) Average time when it hit the floor (s) Terminal velocity (m/sec, 1 D.P) Average terminal velocity (m/sec, 1 D.P)

  2. Lab Report on Acceleration

    0.45 0.23 0.45 0.23 150 0.49 0.25 0.50 0.25 0.49 0.25 0.49 0.25 200 0.51 0.26 0.50 0.25 0.52 0.27 0.51 0.26 250 0.54 0.28 0.55 0.28 0.54 0.28 0.55 0.28 300 0.58 0.29 0.57 0.29 0.59 0.29 0.57 0.29 350 0.61 0.31 0.61 0.31 0.61 0.31 0.61 0.31 400

  1. The Physics of Paper Helicopters

    The readings will be taken with a constant height of 6m, and mass of 2.84g. Length from middle Time (sec) Velocity (cm) 1 2 3 Ave (m/s) 100 2.73 2.43 2.75 2.64 2.28 80 2.75 2.78 2.69 2.74 2.19 60 2.93 2.95 2.51 2.80 2.15 40 2.87 2.61 2.80 2.76

  2. The determination of the acceleration due to gravity at the surface of the earth, ...

    I will measure 15° to ensure that the amplitude of displacement is small and stays approximately the same throughout the experiment. As long as the amplitude of displacement is always 15° or under it will not affect the results to a considerable extent.

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