• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What factors affect the period (time for each complete swing) of a pendulum?

Extracts from this document...


Investigation: Period of a pendulum

Task: what factors affect the period (time for each complete swing) of a pendulum?


In this investigation I am going to find out as many factors, which will affect the period of a simple pendulum. I will then test each factor, so I will be able to conclude with the correct factor at the end of my investigation. This type of pendulum will consist of a mass hanging on a length of string.


An oscillation is one cycle of the pendulums motion, for example, from position y to x and back to y. The period of oscillation is the time required for the pendulum to complete one cycle of its motion. A simple pendulum is a mass suspended from a fixed point and allowed to swing freely.

The following are the factors that I think will affect the period of a pendulum:

1) Length of pendulum- this is from the distance between the end of the cork and the end of the mass.
As the pendulum gets longer the time increases.
2) Mass-the weight will be measured in g, the heavier the mass, the slower it travels, because of the pull of gravity.
3) Angle of amplitude- the angle between the point from where it starts it swing, to the distance from where the swing ends, the point at which kinetic energy is the only force making the mass move and not gravitational potential energy.

...read more.


I recorded my results at the back of my exercise book. I listed each colum required and made sure each result was clearly written as then I would find it easier to write my results in neat. My group all decided that we would re-record if there were a result that was usual.


On Results Table. On the results table, I have marked two numbers in pink, these two numbers are the numbers which I will find the average with, as they’re the closet.

After finding the

...read more.


Some of the results were not accurate, this could have been due to human error. Had there been any strange number of results, I would have repeated my results. However I felt there was no need.

I think the human reaction time played the biggest affect on out results. Depending on human reaction time, the measurement of the period time could have been measured inaccurately, due to slow or to quick reactions when timing the stop-clock, also boredom may have affected the results, as the pupil may have been tired or collecting results, which make slow reaction time.

I think there might have been an error in measurement of angle of altitude. My group found it very difficult to measure the angle and it was even more difficult to get the exact same angle for each result.

I think we might have made errors in the measurement of string, we should of checked twice if the measurement of the string was measured correctly, making sure we measured from the bottom of the cork to the bottom of the mass.

Next time I think to make my experiment better I could have a person who has a good reaction time, I could have marked off the points with a pen to ensure they were as accurately measured as possible when I was measuring the string.

 Overall I felt my methods and results were reliable. This helps me conclude my experiment, by proving that the only factor, which affects the period of a simple pendulum, is its length. As the length increases, so does the period.

...read more.

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

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

    4 star(s)

    From the information from this preliminary experiment I can now go onto investigate how precisely length effects the oscillation period of a pendulum. I have also learnt from this preliminary it is necessary for the clamp stand to be held firmly in place so it does not rock.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Which factors affect the time period of the swing of a pendulum?

    3 star(s)

    My range of readings is 20 cm, for a preliminary experiment this is more than enough to be able to draw up early conclusions. 3 repeats are ample for a preliminary experiment, though I will be using the same number of repeats in my main experiment due to time restrictions, albeit, with a larger range of readings.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Investigating a factor which can affect the period of a pendulum.

    3 star(s)

    The same theory applies to the pendulum on its reverse swing. Gravitation Potential Energy is gained after reaching the opposite highest angle of the swing, which is converted back into kinetic energy in order for it to return to its point of natural suspension.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Additional Science - What affects the period of a pendulum?

    3 star(s)

    I assumed that the results would show that the heavier the ball bearing, the less time I would take to complete one oscillation. However it seems that the results are almost similar, and it also includes 2 outliers. A possible cause of the similar results may be due to human

  1. Period of Oscillation of a Simple Pendulum

    It must have been too slow for air resistance to make a significant difference. The results of my angle of release experiments were less conclusive. However it is possible to theorise as to why the results came out this way.

  2. Factors that affect the period of a pendulum

    Third person records results in a table 8. Retrial each length five times so as to that the results are as accurate as possible. Time of Period (seconds) Length of String Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Trial 4 Trial 5 Ranges Averages (mean)


    we know enough that why we need to draw error boxes in our graph. Conclusion about length: Graph: Now by the aid of a graph I can consider the relationship between length and square of period (because only the graph of squared period against length will give me a straight line)

  2. Mechanical Properties of a Meter Rule

    = deflection of the beam at the load, E = modulus of elasticity, t = beam thickness, l = beam length Therefore maximum surface stress = 3(0.29)(5 x 109)(0.003)/2(0.9)� = 8.06 x 106 The Young's modulus for: Wood = 2.52 x 1010 Metal = 2.45 x 1011 Plastic =5 x

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