Sarah Bixler Mr.

McGregor Period 3 February 8, 2013 Transformative Cycles
the “Ups and Downs” of Trigonometry

My Initial Hypothesis: Qualitative: A change in height and weight will change the angular frequency because a change in the height of the distance of the weight being dropped will have a major difference in the period length. This is because the weight will only have the ability to travel as far as the person pulls it because the weight itself does not have the capacity to change the distance it travels. Because of this, it will affect the time it takes to move it up and down. This is why a change in height will change the angular frequency and not any other component. The amplitude of the weight on the other hand will change based on the difference in mass it contains. This is because the heavier the weight has a direct correlation to the period length if you apply it to a sine graph. The weight that contains more mass will take extra time to move up and down from its original starting point. This causes the amplitude of the weight to not be as detrimental as compared to the weight that has the lighter mass. On the other hand it wouldn’t take as long to complete an entire cycle of an up-and-down. As a result the period length will be much shorter for the lighter weight compared to the heavier weight. Algebraically:

A larger amount of mass will create a longer period length and shorter amplitude. It shows that because it has more mass it will take a longer time to return to its original starting point.

A smaller amount of mass will create a shorter period length and the amplitude will rise dramatically. This shows that the smaller mass doesn’t take as much time to return it the original spot.


The purple line represents the line of the weight that has been pulled down farther. The pink line represents the line of the weight that is not pulled as far.

The Pink line represents the weight that has less mass. This is because with the less mass it can move up and down at a faster rate giving the period length a much smaller number thus resulting in a shorter period length. The purple line on the other hand is the weight that contains the more mass, resulting in a longer period length because it takes more time to move up and down from its starting point. Data Analysis:
1. Trial # Amplitude, A (m) Ratio of Amplitudes (new to old) Angular Frequency, Ratio of Frequencies (new to old)

2p w= T

A2 / A1
1 2 0.1m 0.04m 0.04m/ 0.1m

A3 / A2
0.045m/ 0.04m


w 2 / w1
⁄ ⁄

w3 / w 2
⁄ ⁄



2. All Trials:

Trial 1 screen shot:

Trial 2 screen shot:

Trial 3 screen shot

3. As the data from the experiment was collected there were several transformations and

similarities of the cosine and sine graphs that were formulated. The first connection seen was that of trials one and two. For these trials a fifty gram mass was used. After the weights were held down on and released, the data on the graph showed that they had the same period lengths, distance of each full curve between each other. This was because they both had the same mass. The one thing that did vary was the amplitude values. It didn’t matter whether the masses were the same values, the different drop heights are what made trial one’s amplitude different from trial two’s amp.
4. Another main connection was seen in the trials two and three when the same drop distance

was used. Once the weight was pulled down with the spring at the same distance as the previous trial the values of the two trials showed the same amplitude. The same amplitudes were found even though the weights for these two last trials were different. Trial two had a fifty gram weight whereas trial three had a twenty gram weight and still because they had the same drop distance it made their amplitude values the same. However, even with the same drop height the period lengths did not formulate as similar values. This was due to the difference in mass. In this case, the change in mass did not affect the amplitude, only the drop height did. It is understandable that amplitude and drop “height” are correlated because amplitude is the upper and lower heights (range) of the functions. 5. While looking at the equations in the table below, it can be seen that each sine and cosine equation for their corresponding graph has a horizontal shift. This is considered the “h” in the general equation. This was also the main transformation done to the equations of the graphs. The reason why my group members and I did not need to add a vertical shirt was because before calculating data we zeroed the LoggerPro software. This set our midline at zero on the graph. For )) the construction started with trial number one’s sine equation the amplitude (0.1). We derived this amplitude by using our best judgment on the graph created by LoggerPro. Once we discovered this we incorporated it into the equation. As for the angular

frequency, it was determined by using the average equation of finding how many periods there are within 2 . By using the equation and plugging in the values (in this case time) ⁄ , we found the next number to put into the equation, 7.853. Now, starting with sine graph I knew I needed to have the graph start at 0 on the y axis and 0 and at the midline so this is where the horizontal shift needed to come in. The sine graph starts at the midline and the graph was on the midline but shifted to the right 0.05m. In order for this equation to be correct it needed to start on coordinates 0,0. Knowing this, our shift was horizontal so we needed to move the function over to the left 0.05m by measuring with a ruler. When plugging this value into the equation instead of a negative 0.05 it was positive and looked like this, ). However, the graph started curving downward so because of this a negative sign was added to the beginning of the equation in front of the amplitude value. Moving onto the cosine graph, my group members and I knew the graph needed to start at the highest and most positive number from the amplitude. In the new equation for cosine the amplitude and angular frequency stay the same because it is also part of trial one. However, as for the horizontal shift it needs to change. This is because the equation we’re dealing with is now cosine. Keeping cosine function rules in mind, we realized we need the graph to start at 0, and the highest value of the amplitude, 0.1. In order for the function to start on the y-axis at a height of 0.1 was to horizontally move it. This is where the new horizontal shift comes in. The shift is really going negative in time on the graph but in the equation it is represented as addition to the x because the parentheses give opposite instructions. )) In order to Therefore, the cosine equation looks like this, ( compare and contrast sine and cosine functions of a graph it is important that those, in terms of the trials in this experiment, are the same exact curves. However, each function starts are a different spot of the y-axis. The sine function always starts at the midline, while cosine starts at the top and only very bottom if there is a negative. These main differences come from the relationship with the unit circle. Sine represents y and cosine represents x. At 0 on the unit circle the values are 1,0. The sine is 0 and the cosine is 1. These same points reflect the rules of graphing these functions as well as helping us to understand their differences.

Trial #

Amplitude, A (m)

Angular Frequency,

1 0.1m

2p T

Transformed Trig Equations Sine & Cosine
(include amplitude, angular frequency, and h,k shift)

(rad/sec.) )) )) 2 0.04m )) )) 3 0.045 )) ))

6. When comparing the position and velocity graphs to each other it can be seen that the velocity graphs have much shorter amplitude than the position and time graphs. Velocity is the fastest in relation to the position graph at 0.317 when the position graph touches zero. The velocity is also slowest when it reaches its lowest negative. On the position graph, it’s also at zero when the velocity comes to its lowest. Taking these together, the velocity is fastest and slowest when the position is at zero. However, when the velocity is at its zero the position graph is at its highest point. This is because these correlating positions and velocities are opposing each other. The relationship makes sense between the two because of basic laws of motion. One force is trying to equalize and compensate the other force resulting in this case the curves of sine and cosine. Conclusion: Right when I started collecting data for the first few trials I suddenly realize that my hypothesis was incorrect. In my hypothesis I thought that a larger amount of mass will create a longer period length and shorter amplitude. I was correct in that a larger mass will create a longer period, however it does not create shorter amplitude. That depends on another factor, the drop height. I also stated in my hypothesis a smaller amount of mass will create a shorter period length and the amplitude will rise dramatically. My guessing was not quite what I was looking for but I was right in terms or a smaller mass means a smaller period. Yet, I didn’t understand that for amplitude to change the mass had to be the same. My favorite part of this experiment was after all the data was taken, recorder and all the fun spring pulling was done. I loved when I saw the data and saw the connections to what made periods and amplitudes stay the same. It was like a light bulb went off in my head. That moment was exciting for me and even though I knew my hypothesis was wrong I knew I now understood what was going on. The most challenging part of this experiment was figuring out the exact horizontal shifts for sine and cosine equations. What we learned in this lab connects to the trigonometry we’re learning in class because it uses sine and cosine and helps us understand the equations better. This lab helped us to understand how the math we’re learning in class can be used in the real world. It helped me better understand by stretching my brain and using the specific parts of the function’s equation, helping me practice by graphical transformations. This whole experiment deepened my understanding of the content because it put a real world example, like the bouncing of a spring, and I understood that its sine and cosine graphs had amplitudes just like graphs I was interpreting in my homework. As a visual learner it was very eye-opening.