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HSC Physics Practical 1 Aim: To investigate the oscillations of a simple pendulum Theory: 1.

Simple Harmonic Motion is a form of periodic motion of a particle, etc in which the acceleration is always directed towards an equilibrium point and is proportional to displacement. The abbreviation of Simple Harmonic Motion is SHM.

2. Derivation of the equation for the period of a simple pendulum with a study of the properties of force and acceleration in a simple pendulum by examining a free diagram of a pendulum bob.


towards the point of suspension and tangentially. The component is known as the restoring force of the pendulum. the restoring force should be directly proportional to the bob’s linear displacement from equilibrium along the length of the chord. mgsinθ is accelerating the mass towards the equilibrium along the arc of the circle. . tangential acceleration that connects a pendulum with simple harmonic motion. Frestoring = matangential mg sinθ = matangential To ensure that this restoring force is qualified as SHM.As the pendulum swings. The weight component. Its’s linear . towards its equilibrium position. it is accelerating both centripetally.

the radius of the circle of the circle. In the diagram. s = Lθ where θ must be measured in radians. the length of the pendulum. Here.ks mg sinθ = . Thus. that is: Or equivalently. for x equals to small values can be seen from this power series below that the value of sin x would approach x: . mathematicians technically represent the angle with the variable x instead of θ. r is equal to the L.k(Lθ) The solving of the “spring constant” or k for a simple pendulum brings: mg sinθ = k(Lθ) k = mg sinθ / Lθ When an angle is represented in radians.Geometrically. it must be noted that the value of sin x approximates the value of x for small angles. Substituting this into SHM. the arc length. we get: Frestoring= . θ as referred to the formula s = rθ. s is directly proportional to the magnitude of the central angle.

Procedure: . thread. q be obtained from the equation as the y-intercept. retort stands. stopwatch.Using this relationship can allow us to reduce our expression for the pendulum’s “spring constant” to k = mg / L Substituting this value of k into the SHM equation for the period of an oscillating system results in 3. pendulum bobs. the equation y = mx + c can be used and when we substitute the equation into y = mx + c. ruler. Apparatus: Split rubber stoppers. and to get the value of q from the graph. p can be obtained from the graph by calculating the gradient of the graph.

2.06 6. 6. The time t that elapses before the next occasion when the two pendulums are lined Up and moving in the same direction are determined. 4.87 11.45 0. with each string clamped between two split rubber stoppers. 3.81 where p and q are constants.35 0.25 8.30 Time readings(s) 19. l and Step 4 was changed and repeated until six sets of values for l and t are obtained.35 1.58 1 t 0.44 19.21 0.13 0.56 6.23 1 l 1.41 1. The value of l was measured and recorded. The equation relating t and l is Tabulation of data Length of the thread of the pendulum/m 0.56 Average reading 19. Two simple pendulums side by side are set up as shown in Figure 1.1. Pendulum A was set left at its set length throughout the experiment.65m.25 11.96 5. .60 1.50 0.05 0.40 0.17 0.56 8.87 4. The length of pendulum A was set to about 0.37 3.3m to about 0.21 11.55 0.69 3. l should be from about 0. Pendulum B was adjusted so that its length l is about 0. The stop watch is Started when the two pendulums are lined up as shown in Figure 1.75 18. 5.50 4.1. Both pendulums were set into motion with small oscillations.6m.94 3.75 3.08 0.50 1.12 4.5m.25 5.00 4.70 1.94 7.2 and are moving in the same direction.92 7.50 12.

0. Among the possible sources of errors in this experiment is the air. another problem I encountered during the experiment was that during the time where we had to measure the length of the thread of the pendulum. we might have had measurement errors during the experiment.5984q q = 0.28 = 0.83) 0.28 = 0.Calculation To obtain the value of p.48 To obtain the value of q.8784.8784-0. Besides that.8.4791= 0. it would be like this: 0.con in the Physics Lab where we conducted the experiment as the air. the gradient of the graph is calculated Gradient = 0.28 = p( ) 0.48(1. Among the problems I encountered when conducting this experiment is the problem of obtaining an accurate result when recording the data during the experiment as our result might have been affected due to the blowing of the air-con when the pendulum was swinging.802 Conclusion P and q are constant values in this experiment.23 0. another possible source of error in this experiment is .48 q 0. The value of p is 0.48 = 0. we use the y = mx + c equation and apply it with the following equation: After substituting the values into the equation. 2.48 while the value of q is 0. Discussion 1. it might not have been accurate at all times and thus.28 q 0. Besides that.48 = 0.con kept blowing in the lab when we conducted the experiment and may have affected the accuracy of our result.48 = 0.

Finally. References: 1. Colwell (n. Retrieved 9 February 2011.aspx? doctype=3&filename=OscillatoryMotion_PendulumSHM.d) PhysicsLAB: Derivation: Period of a simple Pendulum. the time recorded for the time elapses before the next occasion when the two pendulums are lined up and moving in the same direction also might not have been too accurate as well.measurement errors as when we measure the length of thread of the Finally. from: http://www.thefreedictionary.d) Retrieved 9 February 2011. Catherine H. Next. Among the precautions I have taken during the experiment is that I made sure t That we take 3 readings of the time that elapses before the next occasion when The two pendulums are lined up and moving in the same direction and obtaining the average of the readings to ensure a more accurate result. 3. from http://dev. definition of simple harmonic motion by the free online dictionary (n. I also ensured that the thread was tied tightly to the retort stand so that the pendulum would not suddenly become loose and fall down to the floor as this action would definitely affect our final .physicslab. I also ensured that the pendulum bob was completely still and in its place before we started using the pendulum to ensure that the result would be more accurate. another possible source of error in this experiment includes when the two pendulums are release together. it might not have been accurate all the time.xml 2.