Pendulum Lab

Pendulum Lab

The Pendulum Swings
Determining the Variables that Affect a Pendulum

The purpose of this lab is to prove that length is the only variable that will affect the period of a pendulum. There is a connection between the period of a pendulum and its variables length and amplitude. A pendulum is an object hanging from a fixed point which, when pulled back and let go, is free to swing down by force of gravity and then out and up because of its inertia. Pendulums are used most often to help keep time in clocks. Length is the measurement of the dimension of the string from one end to the other. Amplitude is the maximum displacement of the object from its equilibrium position. The equation for a pendulum is:


“T” stands for the period of the pendulum. The period is the duration of one cycle in a repeating event. Our hypothesis is that as the amplitude or length increases, the period will also increase. The independent variables in this experiment are the length of the string and the amplitude at which the object is released. The dependent variable in this experiment is the period. Our hypothesis will be tested with a pendulum in a series of trials where the length and amplitude will be changed one at a time to test the period.

Meter stick
2 meters of string
3 masses and hangers
Pendulum clamp
1- or 2- hole stoppers will also work
Ring stand
C-clamps to secure the ring stand base to the table
Stopwatch or photogate timer
Balance protractor
Computer graphing software

1. Measure out and cut 2 pieces of string at an equal length of .32 meters.
2. After cutting string, acquire the mass of the 2-hole rubber stopper and record in data table.
3. Secure circular ring to ring stand.
4. Take one of the pieces of string and pass it through one of the holes in the rubber stopper. Tie several knots at the end of the string so that it won’t go through the hole of...

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