Investigating Magnetic Pendulum

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IB Physics


IA Report:

Investigating Magnetic pendulum

Submitted to:                             Mr. Usama Moud

Submitted on:                             Feb-3-2009

Candidate Name:                   Ali Ayaz Gajani

Candidate Session no:      001307-015

School Name:                           The International School

School code:                            001307

Investigation of the Magnetic Pendulum:

Every magnet has two poles, North and South. When it is hung freely, it always settles in the direction North and South of the Earth. The following experiment is about the properties of magnetic pendulum. In all experiments find the time period of oscillation, and find relation in the direction of vibration and the time period of pendulum.

Hypothesis: The effect of changing the vibration direction of magnetic pendulum on time period of the 20 constant oscillations.


  1. Color indicated lab magnets
  2. Strings and threads
  3. Solution Tape (Transparent)
  4. Measuring Scale (1 feet)
  5. Set of compasses
  6. Lab stand
  7. Stopwatch
  8. Scissors

Methodology: A

For Single magnetic pendulum investigation:

  1. Hang a bar magnet horizontally using the thread string, tied in balance with the lab stand. The thread should be strongly tied with the magnet & stand.

  1. Make sure the magnet is not rotating from its point of centre. This is done in order to allow precise timed readings, as the oscillation progresses smoothly.

  1. Use two or more compasses to check the North. Keep the compasses at a 1 meter distance from the magnets to avoid unnecessary deflection

  1. Vibrate it in the direction as shown in the diagrams below.

  1. Repeat steps 1-2 for varying directions


The side view of all direction combinations is in the horizontal plane. The top view uses vertical and horizontal terms in its own respective sense i.e. the as viewed from the bird’s eye projection.

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Part 1:

Constant: 20 oscillations

Distance of the string i.e. from the tied knot of the stand to the magnet = 6”

Variables: Time (seconds) and Direction (arrow) of magnet pendulum swings

In part 1 of the investigation, the magnet will be swung across constant amplitude with the constant no. of 20 oscillations. With each changing direction, the time period for the 20 oscillations will be noted down on paper. Then, the readings will allow us to deduce if the changing direction of magnet has an effect on the time period or not. Below are the four ...

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