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Physics SBA # 3: Acceleration due to gravity (pendulum)

Aim: To determine a value for acceleration due to gravity [g] using the simple pendulum

Diagram:

Method

1. Attach string to the pendulum bob to from a pendulum [measure and record the length of
pendulum – this starting length should be the longest (50-100 cm)]
2. Measure and record the time [period] for 30 oscillations [1 oscillation is the movement of
the pendulum from one extreme to the next and back]
3. Repeat step 2 two more times recording all results.
4. Shorten the pendulum [the length by which the pendulum is shortened must be chosen
carefully to allow repeated shortening by the same amount] and record the new length.
Repeat steps 1 – 3
5. Repeat step 4 three more times recording all results

Results

Length [m] Time 1 Time 2 Time 3


1.0
0.9
0.8
0.7
0.6
0.5

Calculations
For length A average time for 20 oscillations = = TA

Time for 1oscillation = =D

[Time for 1 oscillation] squared = D2

REPEAT FOR ALL LENGTHS!!!

Graph

Plot a graph of length l [y] against time squared D2[x].

Questions & further calculations

Q1 – What is the gradient of the graph? – include units!

Q2 – Calculate the value for acceleration due to gravity using the formula [g= 4π 2 • m] ; where m
is the gradient of the graph.

Q3 – What can be done to make the value of g more accurate?