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My aim is to find out what variables affect the time it takes for a pendulum to complete a full oscillation.

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Introduction

Introduction and Planing

Aim

My aim is to find out what variables affect the time it takes for a pendulum to complete a full oscillation.

What is a pendulum?

Throughout every day of our lives we see the effect of oscillation: car suspension, plucked guitar, and even a loud speaker. In all case the motion of the object follows the same path each time, returning to the same position. The most familiar example of a pendulum is a person on a swing.  The person will swing back and forth if pushed or pulled from where the swing naturally hangs (its equilibrium position). A pendulum may also be found on a grandfather clock.

What am I going to use to conduct this experiment?

The Pendulum I will use is the simplest it gets. I will need the following apparatus to conduct my experiment: -

Stand

Boss

Clap

String

Weights (also known as the bob)

Protractor

Metre Stick.

On the right is how my apparatus will be set up.

What variables am I going to use?

I have come up with six variables I could use.

Room temperature

Mass (of the bob)

Shape (of the bob)

Angle of displacement

Length of thread

Cross section of thread

...read more.

Middle

34.87

34.65

34.75

1.7

60

32.37

32.34

32.41

1.6

50

29.56

29.53

29.57

1.5

40

26.50

26.37

26.53

1.3

30

23.22

23.25

23.25

1.2

20

19.97

19.90

19.87

1

10

15.63

15.47

15.47

0.8

I have now found that the length does have an effect on the time for a complete oscillation as I predicted. I think that the reason for this effecting the time for an oscillation  is because the length of the thread is making the journey for the bob longer and making the whole process slower.

Angle of displacement (°)

Time for 20 oscillations

1

Time for 20 oscillations

2

Time for 20 oscillations

3

Average 1 oscillation

=1+2+3

60

(to 1d.p)

5

36.72

36.78

36.78

1.8

10

36.72

36.69

36.72

1.8

15

36.85

37.00

36.94

1.9

20

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

25

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

30

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

35

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

40

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

45

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

50

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Results for Angle of displacement

I have now found that the angle of displacement does not effect the oscillation of the pendulum, which I did not realise in my prediction, and I now know the mistake I made. In the prediction I mentioned how it would effect the time of the oscillation because the pendulum has to

...read more.

Conclusion

and starting the stopwatch at the right time. My results were not too bad at all though and I was expecting them to be more out when they were. Another I noticed during the experiment is that I used two different kinds of stopwatches. One of them had an immediate response while the other had a bit of a delayed response because the button was harder to press. If I noticed that it obviouslynot started on time I redid that part of the experiment but obviously I did not notice every single little mistake I made so that also was a small inaccuracy. What I must realise is that no matter how many times I do this experiment, it will never be done perfectly, being a human it would be impossible to get it 100% accurate with the apparatus available from the school. To get it almost100% accurate a sensor would be needed but that still would not be perfectly accurate. I have also come to the conclusion that the only way to change the period of a swing is to change its length of the thread or to do the experiment in a different planet having a different value for gravity.

.

...read more.

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