IB Criteria Assessed
Design,Data Collection and Processing,Conclusion and Evaluation
International Baccalaureate Physics4/PSOW
Torsional Pendulum Design Lab
The time period of a pendulum was first investigated byChristian Huygens in the 17
Century (after apparentlyobserving a swinging chandelier in church). From Huygen'swork the first accurate clocks were invented and refinedYou may be very familiar with traditional swinging pendulumsand the variables that do and do not affect their time periods. Inthis design lab, you will learn about the workings of a torsional(twisting) pendulum.
A torsional pendulum made from a 30cm acrylicruler and elastic band (shown opposite)
Anything else you might find in a normal physicsclassroom.
Design a procedure to test how a certain variable (of your choice) may affect the rate of an oscillatingtorsional pendulum that includes appropriate use of apparatus for the control, collection and analysisof data. As always, this should design lab should include:
Defining the Problem and selecting variables:
Controlling the Variables:
Developing a method for collecting data:Step by step instructions and diagrams are helpful to the reader and highly recommended.Also include a quantitative hypothesis for your investigation together with a sketch graph of what youthink will happen. Note: It is important to realize that the period of such a pendulum is NOT the time of one revolution, but instead the time taken for a stationary twisted pendulum to spin in one direction, stop briefly, andthen wind itself back up. This completes one cycle.
Data Collection and Presentation:
Record the raw data (both quantitative and qualitative) for the experiment in a suitable form.Include uncertainties due to the precision of the measuring apparatus.
Process your quantitative raw data.
Present the processed data in a appropriate way and include errors and uncertainties
Conclusion and Evaluation:
Draw conclusions based on your interpretation of the data. Include a comparison of your resultswith any published data regarding torsional pendulums. Compare your results with your originalhypothesis.
Evaluate your own plan, including any weaknesses and/or limitations. Include an evaluation of theapparatus used.
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