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Investigate how the period of a pendulum depends on its length.

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GCSE Practical Assessment – The Pendulum


To investigate how the period of a pendulum depends on its length.


Well pendulums have been around for a long time and have been the centre of timing devices. An example of this are the Grandfather Clocks, their important feature being that they are isochronous.


        One complete oscillation


 This basically means that the pendulum takes the same time for every swing. There are many factors that may affect the time for one complete swing of the pendulum; this is called the period of the pendulum. These factors could include the length of the pendulum and the weight of the pendulum. This information will help me decide how many results to take in my experiment.

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  1. Make sure whilst the pendulum is swinging that no one is near it.
  2. Clear the worktop before you start the experiment.
  3. Keep the stand well away from the edge of the table.


I predict that the longer the length of the pendulum the greater time the period.


Length of pendulum (cm2)

Time for 5 swings

Time for 10 swings

Average for 1 swing (5)

Average for 1 swing (10)


























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On the whole the experiment went well and I ended up with a set of accurate results. The experiment helped me find how the length of the pendulum affects its period which was my main aim. I believe my results are very reliable as they agree with my prediction and I repeated the results once again. I took enough results to support my conclusions and if I was to do the experiment I would probably take even more sets of results as it would make the results even more accurate. I could possibly extend the investigation by using different weights of the plaster cine to see if It affects the period of the pendulum also. Bu overall the investigation was accurate and very interesting.

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