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Investigating the period of oscillation on a pendulum

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Investigating the period of oscillation on a pendulum Aim - To investigate how the period of a pendulum varies with length. Background Knowledge - A pendulum consists of a bob attached by a string to a pivot point. As the pendulum moves it sweeps out a circular arc, moving back and forth in a periodic fashion. There are many different types of pendulums but the most common are found in clocks, they are actually more common than people think as they are used in toys and novelty items. There are many different terms associated with pendulums the period is the calculated time of one oscillation. Frequency is the number of oscillations per second. Amplitude is the linear distance of the movement of a pendulum from the centre point to one side, as shown below. By studying this, we conducted a small experiment and learnt that the pendulum's frequency is not affected by the distance the bob is pulled back before release. ...read more.


Accuracy - To try and keep our results as accurate as possible we carried out the experiment twice at each interval, we used a ruler to measure the length of spring and also kept the bob the same mass. Timing it for twenty oscillations and then dividing it by twenty also improved accuracy. Safety - To try and keep the experiment as safe we took care when dropping the bob as it could strike someone an injure them and also ensures that retort stand was clamped firmly to the desk to prevent it for tipping over. Strategy for dealing with results - Here is how I will record my results. Length of string (cm) Time for 20 oscillations (s) Period (s) 1st 2nd Average Period (s) Length of string (cm) Length of string (cm) VLength of string (cm) Period (s) Period (s) VLength if string (cm) Results - Here are my results. ...read more.


I can safely say that from looking at my result table and my graph that my prediction is in fact correct. I can see that in the two graphs I have done that the period is directly proportional to the "Vlength", and in the other graph I can see that the period is not directly proportional to the "length". I however did find one anomaly in my "Vlength" graph this was probably due to; the length of the string not being exact, the air resistance might have changed if the amplitudes changes, a human error when timing, the pendulum not swinging in a straight line. The experiment could have been improved my taking more readings at each interval, taking more care when timing and letting the complete thirty oscillations and the divide by thirty to get the period. Again from comparing results with my classmates I can see that there is a great similarity between each other's results and that I strongly say that the period of a pendulum varies with length. Declan Gervin 11A3 Page 1 4/28/2007 ...read more.

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