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Torsional Pendulum Design Lab

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International Baccalaureate Physics        4/PSOW

Torsional Pendulum Design Lab


You may be very familiar with swinging pendulums and the variables that do and do not affect.  In this design lab, you will learn about how a torsional (twisting) pendulum works.  


  • Ring stand and clamps
  • Rubber bands
  • Ruler
  • Stopwatch
  • Hanging Mass
  • Sticky tack
  • Coins
  • Anything else you might find in a normal physics classroom.


Design a procedure to test how a certain variable (of your choice) may affect a twisting.  As always, this should design lab should include…..

  • Defining the Problem and selecting variables:
  • Controlling the Variables:
  • Developing a method for collecting data:

Thus, step by step instructions and diagrams are helpful to the reader and highly recommended.

...read more.


Method of collection:

  1. As with the given material in the apparatus, first create the rotational pendulum by attaching the weight to the ruler making sure an even distribution of balance.
  1. Then attach the rubber band to the hook of the weight and attach it to the hook of the clamp
  1. Make sure the rubber band is in a neat order as not to create unwanted twists
  1. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until ten rubber bands have been attached and the experiment complete
  1. Collect and process the data

Data table:

Number of Rubber bands

Time for a complete rotation


My hypothesis is that as the number of rubber bands increase the time of one complete rotation will increase.

...read more.



Student:          Min, Hae Bung

Investigation:  Torsional Pendulum Lab

Time: 1.0Hrs

Date(s): 24/09/08



Defining the problem and selecting variables

It is not clear in your question how the extra rubber bands will be added.

It is not clear what the dependent variable will be.


Controlling variables

You designed a method that makes some attempt to control variables.

However, there is not enough detail to ensure that you have controlled the necessary variables.


Describing a method for collection of data

You do not state the increments of your independent variable measurements.

Multiple trials would be a good idea.

There is no diagram to help understanding.


This criteria is only addressed

This grade will not appear on the PSOW

General comments

You did not spend enough time on this lab.

Ringo Dingrando

© Dingrando - ISM        900968.doc

...read more.

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