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

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Introduction

PENDULUM COURSEWORK

AIM

In this investigation I will attempt to discover the factors that will affect the time period of the swing of a pendulum.

PREDICTION

I predict that the variable that will affect the time rate of a swing of a pendulum would be the length of the string the weight is attached to.

My justifications for this prediction are that the longer the pendulum is, the longer a distance it will have to travel to pass the centre point and hence it should take a longer time.

Another justification for my prediction is that if I implement lengths for the pendulum into the formula for time period of a simple pendulum then I find that the longer the length of string, the longer the time period, my experiment will attempt prove this equation also.

For example, if my experiment is accurate using the formula (T = 2∏ (√L/G)) where T is time period, L is length of pendulum and G is acceleration due to Gravity (9.8 m/s), the time period of a 20cm pendulum should turn out to be 8.96 seconds for 10 oscillations (3sf).

PLAN

The pendulum will consist of a metal ball on the end of a

Middle

My results also confirm to me that my original prediction was correct, because as the length of the pendulum increases, as does the time period of that pendulum and this is proven in my table of results, for example the average time period for a pendulum with a length of 10cm is 6.83 seconds and the average time period for a pendulum with a length of 20cm is 9.26 seconds, this shows an obvious increase in the time period of the pendulum by approximately three seconds.

My results concur numerically with my original data also as I predicted that the time period (using the formula) for a pendulum of length 20cm would be 8.96 seconds and the average time period turned out to be 9.26 seconds. This is a difference of 0.3 of a second and this difference was most likely caused my human error (i.e. reaction times) than a fault in my experiment.

My graph further reinforces evidence that my original prediction should technically be correct as

MAIN EXPERIMENT

APPARATUS

- Stand and Clamp
- A spherical weight with a hook
- A stopwatch
- A ruler
- Different lengths of String

METHOD

- Firstly I set up the clamp and stand with the pendulum set up in the clamp at the correct height for my first reading.

Conclusion

The way I would go about conducting this experiment would be to keep the length of the pendulum constant and to use different weights of bobs on the end of the pendulum. I would conduct that experiment in a similar fashion as to how I have conducted this experiment. For example

- Firstly I would set up the clamp and stand with the pendulum set up in the clamp at the correct height for my first reading.

- Secondly I would release the pendulum. At the moment of releasing the pendulum I would start the stopwatch.

- I would count ten oscillations of the pendulum, an oscillation being when the pendulum passes the centre of the clamp stand every 2nd time, after ten oscillations I stop the stopwatch and then repeated 3 times using the same string. I would do this for 8 different weights of bobs on the end of a pendulum.

- I would record my results and analyse them in order to draw a conclusion.

I feel that if this experiment were to take place then the conclusion drawn would be that the heavier the bob would be, then the time period would actually increase.

I predict this because if a pendulum is heavier, the pendulum would have a larger momentum and would have a lot more energy than a lighter pendulum and hence would be able to swing faster and therefore would have a shorter time period.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Forces and Motion section.

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## Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

This is a good report that covers the basics of this investigation.

1. The prediction should be more specific.

2. The results tables are well presented.

3. The conclusion includes data well.

4. The evaluation should focus on this investigation and include some suggestions for improvements.

*** (3stars)

Marked by teacher Luke Smithen 05/07/2013