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

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.

Extracts from this document...


Francisca Sondjaja

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.  Also include a hypothesis and a sketch graph of what you think will happen.  

The above information was given to the student by the instructor.  What follows immediately below is the student’s own work.

Problem: How does increasing the number of coins on the ruler affect the time it takes for the torsional pendulum to complete one period?


...read more.


distance from center of ruler to coins (both stacks of coins have to be evenly spaced from center of ruler and stay at that distance)balance (e.g. number of coins on each side must be the same)outside unbalanced forces (e.g. do not bump the spinning ruler into things or let a significantly strong wind affect its movement)type of coins (so that increase of mass each time is close to constant)amount of sticky tacks to stick each coin (so that increase of mass each time is close to constant)



  1. Set up all materials as pictured above: tape the weight to the middle of the ruler; loop rubber band onto the hook of the mass; however, do not stick coins yet at this point.
  2. Twist the rubber band 5 full rotations and keep it from unwinding.
  3. If you have a partner (Steve, for example), let one person be in charge of holding the torsional pendulum as it unwinds and the other in charge of timing with stopwatch and recording time.
...read more.












G4IA Assessment sheet                                                                                                                                          2/9/2009

Student:          Sondjaja, Francisca

Investigation:  Torsional Pendulum Lab

Time: 1.0Hrs

Date(s): 24/09/08



Defining the problem and selecting variables

You formulated a research question and identified the relevant variables.


Controlling variables

You designed a method that effectively controls variables.

Nice work to define that the same amount of sticky tack should be used for each coin added.


Describing a method for collection of data

:)  Excellent drawing.  Wow.

You developed a method that allows for collection of sufficent data.


This criteria is only addressed

This grade will not appear on the PSOW

General comments

☺ Great work

Francisca, this might be the most awesome lab ever.  I can find nothing wrong with it.  

Ringo Dingrando

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Physics 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 International Baccalaureate Physics essays

  1. Pendulum lab. The main purpose for this experiment is to find the factor that ...

    The graph above indicates increase in time (s) as the length of the string is gradually increasing, it is reasonable to say that two variables form a linear relationship between each other. The graph includes line of best fit, steepest fit, and least steep fit from the graph as drawn and the equation for each of the line.

  2. IA Lab report rubber bands

    The different points represent the length of the shots on different stretching values. The lines are drawn to best fit. Conclusion We see a clear result, and it does indeed follow our hypothesis. The more the rubber band is stretched, the longer the shot length becomes.

  1. Analyzing Uniform Circular Motion

    mass constant, this will mean that the extra force will help the motion of the object and decrease the time period, thus increase frequency. The R2 value is very close to 1 which means the data is precise for both the graphs.

  2. Investigate the factors affecting the period of a double string pendulum

    I conclude that in almost all certainty that my hypothesis was correct and sound. The second graph you can see the trend line has an equation of y=0.114x2 -1.238x+2.016 corresponding with the negative downward sloping of trend line establishing that the relationship between the distance l and the period of the oscillating metal bar are inversely related to one another.

  1. Suspension Bridges. this extended essay is an investigation to study the variation in tension ...

    This indicates that the tension values decrease but not uniformly. String Type: - Elastic Band Due to the close proximity of the four series, it is difficult to display the polynomial equation on the graph. Here are the polynomial equations for all the four series: - Length of the String (in cm)

  2. Efficiency Lab

    minus the distance from the floor to the bow.* Thus, by graphing our calculated results, we can see that the efficiency of the system increases as mass increases. Energy vs. Displacement Formula: y = 37.581x2 - 1.0319x Sample Calculations: Arrow 1: Output: Ep = mgh--> 0.00284 kg x 9.8 m/s2

  1. HL Physics Revision Notes

    Cyclical changes in the Earth?s orbit Volcanic activity Continental drift affecting the ocean currents and winds Enhanced greenhouse effect refers to additional warming due to increased quantity?s of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The increases in the gas concentrations are due to human activity.

  2. Exponential Decay of beer foam Design Lab

    will be used for each of the 3 trials. The same volume of beer will be used for each trail as this constant amount will increase accuracy of the overall experiment. This will be measured using a measuring cylinder. Apparatus List: -3 cans of beer at 330 ml - 1 measuring cylinder (1000ml)

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