E6-Oscillatory Motion: The Pendulum
NAME: Partner’s Name: Laboratory Section: Recitation Section: Laboratory Instructor: Recitation Instructor: DATE:

OBJECTIVES: In class, you have just shown that the period of a pendulum is

T = 2π

L g

where L is the length of the string and g is the acceleration of gravity. This result assumes a point mass for the bob and a massless string. It also assumes that the angle of swing is small, small in the sense that (in radians) sin θ ≅ θ. Today, you will determine g using a pendulum, determine the dependence of T upon L and investigate what happens if θ is not “small.” Reading: Introduction: Apparatus: Procedure: Set up DATA STUDIO to measure the period of a pendulum using a photogate. Choose Timers and then chose ch 1 gate blocked, again ch 1 gate blocked and once again ch 1 gate blocked. This will time a full oscillation of the pendulum. 1. A pendulum is not truly isochronous; the period varies with amplitude. (Christian Huyghens discovered a method of making an isochronous pendulum by varying the length L with the angle of swing, θ.) For several values of θ, with L constant, determine T. DO NOT DESTROY the timer gates. BE Careful. 2. Now measure T as a function of L. Measure T several times at each L, so you can estimate ∆T, the error in your measurement of T. How do you measure L since we assume a point mass for the bob? Measurements: 1. Make a table of T vs. θ in an EXCEL spreadsheet. 2. Make a table of T vs. L in an EXCEL spreadsheet

1. 2. 3.

4. 5.

7. 8. 9.

Add a column to your spreadsheet where you calculate g from your measurements. Calculate gAVE, the average value of g determined from your measurements of T. Calculate the per cent difference between your measured gAVE and the USGS value for Rolla of gUSGS = 9.7988230 ± .000005 m/s2. Incidentally, this value from the USGS was measured with a pendulum not far from your present location. Estimate ΔL, the range of error in your estimate of L. (I.e. L ±L). Similarly estimate ΔT. [ΔL = L L ]. Recall that L =L/L. Recalling that the error in (T2) =2 T, estimate g. Remember that fractional or per cent errors add for multiplication and division. Comments on 3 and 5? Plot T vs. L. Plot T vs. θ from your measurements. Make a free-body diagram for the pendulum when the bob is at an angle θ from the vertical. Find the component of the force tangent to the motion. Set this equal to ma. The pendulum is isochronous if F has the form F ≈ -kx where k is a constant. What approximation do you need to make to have F in this form? Note that x is replaced by θ for the pendulum. What is the equation you then obtain from F = ma?


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