Education Technology

Pendulum Explorations

Published on 08/23/2010

Activity Overview

Students experimentally explore the factors that might affect the period of a pendulum.

Key Steps

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    Students explore factors that may affect the period of a pendulum.


    First, students use a motion sensor to collect data on the position of the pendulum over time. They use the graph of the motion to calculate the pendulum's period.

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    Students vary the mass and initial angle of the pendulum. They calculate the period for each variation. They plot the data to confirm that mass and initial angle do not affect the period of the pendulum.

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    Students use nonlinear regression and dimensional analysis to identify the equation relating length and period.