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To investigate the factors that affect the time of swing in a simple pendulum, using a small weight and a length of string attached to a fixed point.

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Aim: To investigate the factors that affect the time of swing in a simple pendulum, using a small weight and a length of string attached to a fixed point.

Background Information: Dictionary Definition:
n1 a weight suspended so it swings freely under the influence of gravity. 2 such a device used to regulate a clock mechanism.

”Pendulum, a mass, called a bob, suspended from a fixed point so that it can swing in an arc determined by its momentum and the force of gravity.”

-Columbia University

A pendulum can be defined as anything suspended from a fixed point that can swing in an arc. This can be anything from a watch on the end of a string, to a huge demolition crane. These types of objects are
seen often around the world. A pendulum generally
swings from one height, gains momentum, follows an
arc through and decelerates at it goes against gravity
back up to an altitude similar to that of its release
        The object at the end of the pendulum is called
a bob.

...read more.




1 weight
1 clamp stand
2m length of string

Meter rule

Set up the equipment as follows:

Set up the clam stand, with the horizontal pole sticking over the table edge. Loop one end of the string in such a fashion that it may be freely adjusted in length. Attach the weight to the end of the string, so that it hangs freely over the edge of the table, without slipping or causing the clamp stand to topple. If needed, place a few heavy items on the base of the clamp stand to keep it upright. The equipment should now be set up as shown in the diagram.


The following is a list of the variable that will be used in this experiment:

Weight Mass:

Angle of release:20°

Length of string (cm):10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100

Number of swings per reading: 10 (time/10 to give accurate reading)

To keep this a fair test, the mass of the weight will remain the same, alongside the size and shape. The same string and clamp stand will be used.

...read more.


Note:The length must be measured from where the string meets the end of the clamp, to the centre of the weight.

2.        Place a protractor underneath the end of the clamp stand, so that the 90° angle mark is directly behind the string, which is hanging freely straight toward the centre of gravity.

3.        Ensure the stopwatch is set to 0:00. Then, with the assistance of another person, grasp the weight and pull it back so that the string is tilted 20°. This should mean the string is either at 110° or 70° mark on the protractor.

4.        Simultaneously release the weight and start the stopwatch. One swing counts where the pendulum swings from one side to the other, then back again, reaching its original point. Let it do this 10 times, then stop the stopwatch. Record this time in the table.

5.        Repeat this procedure, so that you have 2 results for this. Work out the average (mean) of the 2 results. Note: To make the results more accurate, repeat this more then twice. Then remove any phantom results, and calculate the average from the remaining.

6.        Repeat the above for each of the given variables.

...read more.

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