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# Air University DMAE [IAA]

Air University

(IAA)

## Mechanics of Machines Lab

Lab # 09
To determine acceleration due to gravity, g, and radius of
gyration about an axis through the center of gravity using a
compound pendulum

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## Mechanics of Machines Lab

Air University DMAE [IAA]

Lab # 09
Compound Pendulum
Objective:
1. To determine the radius of gyration of a compound pendulum about its C.G.
2. To investigate the effect of change of fulcrum.
3. To verify that the compound pendulum periodic time of oscillation for small
amplitudes is

## 4. To compare a compound pendulum with a simple pendulum.

Apparatus Required:
Compound pendulum
Stop watch

Equipment Description:

## The compound pendulum apparatus consists of a number of key

elements:
1. Compound Pendulum bar
2. Sliding mass for the compound pendulum bar
3. Knife edge bracket for pivot point of pendulums
4. Simple pendulum bob weight on lightweight cord
5. Lightweight cord

The compound pendulum bar has seven (7) equi-spaced holes at one
end. Attached to the pendulum bar is a sliding mass. The mass has a
small thumbscrew attached to it which when loosened allows the
mass to slide up and down the pendulum bar. When the sliding mass
is in position the thumbscrew is tightened thus securing the sliding
mass into position.
A simple pendulum is available to give students a comparison
between a simple pendulum and a compound pendulum and allows
the equivalent length of a pendulum to be tested. This pendulum
comprises of a bob weight attached to a lightweight, thin cord. The
cord is terminated at one end with a small split ring. The split ring
sits over the knife edge bracket, whilst the free end of the cord
suspends vertically. The bob weight has an integral friction
mechanism which allows the weight to be slid up and down the cord,
but remains in its set position after sliding.

## Mechanics of Machines Lab

Air University DMAE [IAA]

Theory:

## Mechanics of Machines Lab

Air University DMAE [IAA]

Also:

Where:
Tp= Periodic time
= 3.141
x = h= Distance of the point of pendulum suspension from the centre of gravity of the
compound pendulum
KCG = Radius of gyration about the centre of gravity
g = acceleration due to gravity (9.81 m/s2)

Experiment procedure:

## 1. Ensure the apparatus is secured to a sturdy and rigid vertical support.

2. Weigh the mass of the pendulum bar and record in table 1 with units of Kg.
Ensure the sliding mass is not attached.

## Mechanics of Machines Lab

Air University DMAE [IAA]

3. Weigh the mass of the sliding mass and record in table 1 with units of Kg.
4. Measure the length of the pendulum bar and record it in table 1 in meters
5. Measure the width of the pendulum bar and record in table 1 in meters (m).
6. Without the sliding mass attached, balance the pendulum bar on a knife edge (use
knife edge bracket supplied if necessary). Adjust the bar on the knife edge until it
becomes as balanced as possible without falling off the knife edge. This becomes
the centre of gravity for the pendulum bar without a sliding mass attached. Mark
this position on the pendulum bar with a pencil. Measure the position of the centre
of gravity to the outer tip of the pendulum bar at the holes end of the bar. Record
this distance in table 1 in meters (m)
7. Remove the pendulum bar from the knife edge and measure the distance of the
centre of gravity from step 6 above to the point at which the knife edge v suspend
from the uppermost hole in the pendulum bar (the distance from the centre of
gravity to where the knife edge touches on the hole). Record this length, in meters
in table 2. This length will be denoted by the letter h.
8. Place the pendulum bar on the knife edge with the uppermost hole (call it hole 1)
resting on the knife edge. The knife edge will be referred to as the fulcrum or
pivot point. There is a small 'V groove in each hole in the pendulum bar. This 'v'
groove should sit on the knife edge to minimize bar rotation about its vertical axis
during oscillations.
9. Set the stopwatch supplied to timer mode. Run through a number of
start/stop/reset sequences with the stopwatch to get familiar with its operation.
10. As a dummy run, draw back the pendulum bar a small distance, to create a small
angle. Release the pendulum bar and allow it to swing about its fulcrum. As this is
a dummy run, ensure the bar swings evenly back and forth and not round and
round. If the latter is present then adjust your release to enable smooth swing.
Take your time to ensure to get a feel for releasing the pendulum bar correctly.
11. With a stop watch in one hand and the pendulum bar in the other, draw back the
pendulum bar a small distance (creating a small angle of swing). Start the stop
watch timing whilst at the same time releasing the pendulum bar. Time 20
complete oscillations. Complete oscillations being a complete swing from left to
right (or vice versa) and back to the original start position.
12. After the 20th complete swing, stop the stopwatch. Record the time taken for 20
oscillations in table 2 in seconds (s).
13. Repeat the 20 swings two further times to obtain three sets of results and each
time record them in table 2.
14. Take an average of the three sets of times and record this average in table 2.
15. Using this value for the average time taken for 20 oscillations, calculate the
periodic time of oscillations for the pendulum bar (without sliding mass and using
uppermost fulcrum hole). Record this value in table 2.
Periodic time (of one complete oscillation)
T = Total time / 20

## Mechanics of Machines Lab

Air University DMAE [IAA]

16. Repeat the procedure for swinging and measuring 20 oscillations using the other
holes (call the other holes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 with 7 being the closest hole to the
centre of gravity) within the pendulum bar and record in table 2. Remember to
measure the distance of the outer edge of each hole to the centre of gravity, i.e. the
distance from the centre of gravity to the point at which the knife edge touches the
hole.
17. Add the sliding mass to the pendulum bar in a position below the lowest hole
(hole 7) in the bar.
18. Measure and record the new centre of gravity for the pendulum bar and slid mass.
19. Run through the same procedure above to eventually obtain the radius of gyration
of the pendulum bar and sliding mass, the value of the acceleration due to gravity
and the equivalent length of a simple pendulum.

## Results & Discussions:

1. Plot a graph of periodic time, Tp, versus distance of hole to centre of gravity, h.
Tp will be on the vertical Y-axis and h on the horizontal X-axis. The x-axis
should start at zero (0).
2. Draw a smooth curve between the points.
3. It will be found that the curve can be drawn symmetrically as shown in the results
section if enough holes are within the pendulum bar. It is symmetrical about the
centre of gravity of the pendulum bar.
4. Draw any line CAGBD parallel to the x-axis as shown. This cuts the curves in
four points, which all have the same periodic time, Tp.
5. From the graph calculate the length of AD and BC, remembering to use the scale
of the x-axis and not the distance from a ruler.
6. The 'equivalent length' of a simple pendulum is obtained by:
L = (AD + BC)/2
7. Confirm the equivalent length of a simple pendulum by using the following:

## Rearranging this equation in terms of L gives:

Where:
T = Periodic time for the line CAGDB
g = acceleration due to gravity, 9.81 m/s2
= 3.14
8. Rearrange above time period equation in terms of g:

## Mechanics of Machines Lab

Air University DMAE [IAA]

9. Using the equivalent length of the simple pendulum obtained from part 6 above,
work out the value of g. Compare this with the text book values of g i.e.
9.807m/s2)
10. There is a value for h for which the compound pendulum has a minimum
periodic time value. Draw a line between the minimum points of both curves, i.e.
MN. The line denotes the minimum periodic time of the compound pendulum,
Tpmin
11. Tpmin is found earlier as:

Where:
Tmin = Minimum periodic time from graph
Kcg = Radius of gyration about the centre of gravity of the pendulum bar
g = acceleration due to gravity, 9.81 m/s2

13. Using the above equation and rearranging, the radius of gyration of the pendulum
bar about its centre of gravity. Kcg, can be calculated.
14. The mass moment of inertia of the pendulum bar about its centre of gravity is:

Where the mass moment of inertia of a uniform bar of length a and width b is
as follows:

15. From the length a, width b, and mass m of the pendulum bar recorded in table 1,
calculate the mass moment of inertia using the equation above.
16. Using the value of Icg, obtain the value of Kcg from above given equation.

Result Sheet:
Table 1

## Mechanics of Machines Lab

Air University DMAE [IAA]

Table 2

Distance Time for 1st Time for 2nd Time for Avg time Peridic
Hole # of Hole to 20 swings 20 swings 3rd 20 for 20 Time,
CG (m) (sec) (sec) swings (sec) swings Tp
1 (Uppermost)
2
3
4
5
6
7 (Closest to CG)

Sample Graph:

Comments:

Sources of error: