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Pendulum Investigation

Extracts from this document...


Michiyo Yamashina                                                                                                                      28/04/07

  • Planing


For this investigation you will need :-

  • Metre ruler
  • Clamp stand
  • Stop clock
  • String
  • Weight
  1. Set up a clamp stand with a piece of string attached to it.
  2. The weight need to be attached securely to the end of the string.
  3. The weight will be held to one side at an angle and then released.
  4. A stop clock will be used to time taken for one full oscillation.
  5. This will be repeated a number of times for one full oscillation, each time shortening the length of string by 10 cm.image00.pngimage01.png

         One full oscillation           The diagram of the pendulum

I am going to record the results into a table like this:-

             Times for 5 oscillations in seconds


1st experiment

2nd experiment

3rd experiment












Predictions: -

I predict that the time will be affected by the length of the pendulum and also affected by the weight.

...read more.


Once the bob is released, this gravitational force is able to act on it, thus moving it downward towards its original hanging point. We can say therefore, that as it is released, the Gravitational Potential Energy is converted into Kinetic Energy needed for the pendulum to swing. Once the bob returns to its original point of suspension, the Gravitational Potential Energy has been totally converted into Kinetic Energy, causing the bob to continue moving past its pivot point and up to a height equidistant from its pivot as its pivot as its starting point.

The same factors affect the pendulum o its reverse swing Gravitational Potential Energy gained after reaching  its highest point in its swing, is converted into Kinetic Energy needed for it to return back to its natural point of vertical suspension. Due to this continuous motion, the bob creates an arc shaped swing. The movement of the pendulum is repeated until an external force acts on it, causing it to cease it movement.

...read more.


  • Evaluation:-

My investigation worked quite well because I had enough results to plot the graph and for the evaluation. I had two results that didn’t fit into the pattern. Factors that may have affected the accuracy of my results are: -

  1.  Error in measurement of angle of altitude. This angle proved difficult to measure and it was hard to get the exact same angle for each experiment. I could use a protractor to measure the angle.
  2. Error in measurement of string. To improve accuracy, I could have marked off the points with a pen to ensure they were as accurately measured as possible.
  3. Human reaction time. Depending on human reaction time, the measurement of time could have been measured inaccurately, due slow reactions when getting the stop clock. This could have been improved by involving another person to aid me with my experiment, for a quicker reaction time.

If I were to improve my investigation I would use heavier mass so that the results are not so close together and also if I were to extend my investigation, I would investigate how does the angle of altitude and the mass will affect the time.

...read more.

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