Date: April 8, 2021
A swinging pendulum keeps a very regular beat. It is so regular, in fact, that for many years the
pendulum was the heart of clocks used in astronomical measurements at the Greenwich
There are at least three things you could change about a pendulum that might affect the
time for one complete cycle):
the amplitude of the pendulum swing
the length of the pendulum, measured from the center of the pendulum bob to the point of
the mass of the pendulum bob
To investigate the pendulum, you need to do a
experiment; that is, you need to make
measurements, changing only one variable at a time. Conducting controlled experiments is a basic
principle of scientific investigation.
In the original experimental lab
, you will use a Photogate to measure the period of one complete
swing of a pendulum. By conducting a series of controlled experiments with the pendulum, you can
determine how each of these quantities affects the period.
Measure the period of a pendulum as a function of amplitude.
Measure the period of a pendulum as a function of length.
Measure the period of a pendulum as a function of bob mass.