3A10.10 Adjustable Length Pendulum

Concepts

Simple harmonic motion, conservation of energy

Overview

A ball is suspended from a pivot so that it can swing freely. The length of the pendulum is adjustable. For small amplitude, the motion of the pendulum as a function of time is approximately simple harmonic motion. Also, the pendulum can be used to show conversion of potential to kinetic energy.

Details

Equipment

  • [1] Ball attached to a string
  • [1] Lab stand
  • [1] 90-degree clamp
  • [1] Screw clamp (used as a pivot)

Classroom Assembly

  1. Suspend the string on a screw clamp. 
  2. Attach the screw clamp to a lab stand.
  3. Adjust the length of the pendulum as necessary.

Script

  1. Displace the ball sideways from its equilibrium position and release it.

 

Additional Resources

References

  • PIRA 3A10.10

Disclaimer

  • Don't attempt this at home!

Last revised

  • 2018

Technicals

Related AV

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If you have any questions about the demos or notes you would like to add to this page, contact Ricky Chu at ricky_chu AT sfu DOT ca.