Pendulum Lab

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  • Periodic Motion
  • Simple Harmonic Oscillator
  • Conservation of Energy
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Topics

  • Periodic Motion
  • Simple Harmonic Oscillator
  • Conservation of Energy
  • Period
  • Pendulum

Description

Play with one or two pendulums and discover how the period of a simple pendulum depends on the length of the string, the mass of the pendulum bob, the strength of gravity, and the amplitude of the swing. Observe the energy in the system in real-time, and vary the amount of friction. Measure the period using the stopwatch or period timer. Use the pendulum to find the value of g on Planet X. Notice the anharmonic behavior at large amplitude.

Sample Learning Goals

  • Design experiments to determine which variables affect the period of a pendulum
  • Quantitatively describe how the period of a pendulum depends on these variables
  • Explain the small-angle approximation, and define what constitutes a “small” angle
  • Determine the gravitational acceleration of Planet X
  • Explain the conservation of mechanical energy, using kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy
  • Describe the Energy Graph from the position and speed of the pendulum
Version 2.03

Teacher Tips

Download teacher tips PDF Overview of sim controls, model simplifications, and insights into student thinking ( PDF ).

Teacher-Submitted Activities

Concept questions for Physics using PhET (Inquiry Based) A gold star indicates high-quality, inquiry-based activities that follow the PhET design guidelines. This contribution was designed by PhET. Trish Loeblein HS
UG-Intro
MC Physics
Algebra-based Physics Semester one lessons, clicker questions, and schedule in pdf (Inquiry Based) A gold star indicates high-quality, inquiry-based activities that follow the PhET design guidelines. This contribution was designed by PhET. Trish Loeblein UG-Intro
HS
HW
Lab
Demo
Physics
Pendulum Basics Inquiry A gold star indicates high-quality, inquiry-based activities that follow the PhET design guidelines. This contribution was designed by PhET. Trish Loeblein MS Lab Physics
Pendulum Lab 2: Find g (Inquiry Based) A gold star indicates high-quality, inquiry-based activities that follow the PhET design guidelines. This contribution was designed by PhET. Trish Loeblein UG-Intro
HS
HW Mathematics
Physics
Pendulum Lab 1: intro to pendulums (Inquiry Based) A gold star indicates high-quality, inquiry-based activities that follow the PhET design guidelines. This contribution was designed by PhET. Trish Loeblein UG-Intro
HS
HW
Lab
Physics
Mathematics
Swinging Physics Using Pendulum Phet A gold star indicates high-quality, inquiry-based activities that follow the PhET design guidelines. John Lewis and Michi Ishimoto UG-Intro
HS
Lab
Discuss
Physics
Pendulum investigation for Middle School A gold star indicates high-quality, inquiry-based activities that follow the PhET design guidelines. Jefferson County Middle School Workshop MS Lab Physics
Mathematics
How do PhET simulations fit in my middle school program? This contribution was designed by PhET. Sarah Borenstein MS Other Earth Science
Chemistry
Biology
Physics
Pendulum Lab Learning Goals by design team (Inquiry Based) This contribution was designed by PhET. Trish Loeblein, Mike Dubson Other Other Mathematics
Physics
Mapping of PhET and IBDP Physics Jaya Ramchandani HS Other Physics
MS and HS TEK to Sim Alignment Elyse Zimmer MS
HS
Other Biology
Physics
Chemistry
PhET Simulations Aligned for AP Physics C Roberta Tanner HS Other Physics
KE and PE with the pendulum, Student Don Loving HS
MS
UG-Intro
Lab
Guided
Physics
Pendulum variables Jefferson County Middle School Workshop MS Lab Physics
Kinematics Wang Yunhe HS Lab Physics
Pendulum Lab COV Investigations Alicia Ferrill K-5
MS
HW
Demo
CQs
Lab
Other
Pendulum Lab Orkida Dedushi MS Lab Physics
Simple Pendulum Jay Gregorio HS
UG-Intro
MS
HW
Lab
CQs
Pendulum Energy Denise Wetli UG-Intro Lab
Pendulum Lab gayle bari HS Lab
8th Grade Science teacher Richard Ballard MS Lab Physics
Determination of Gravitational Acceleration Roberto Marrero HS Lab Physics
The pendulum lab - Period investigation Geoff Phillips HS Lab
Moviment d'un pèndol Jordi Plana MS Demo
HW
Physics
practicum laboratory test "pendulum"/ practicum toets "slingeren" Peter Selen HS Lab Physics
Waves and sound(in dutch golven en trillingen) Corné de Boer HS Demo
La mesure du temps Moreau Gwenael MS Lab Physics
Getaran Poniyem Joni MS Lab Physics
AYUNAN SEDERHANA Daimah Binti Abdul Rokhim HS Lab Physics
laboratorijas darbs Natalija Shilde HS
Other
Lab
Other
MC
Demo
HW
Discuss
Guided
Physics
Mathematics
Cálculo da aceleração da gravidade (g) utilizando o pêndulo simples Rodrigo Nogueira Grad
HS
Guided
Lab
Discuss
HW
Demo
Earth Science
Physics
Laboratorio del péndulo simple Orlando E González Pérez Grad HW
Laboratorio de Péndulo Simple Leonardo Correa Grad
MS
Demo
Lab
HW
Mathematics
Physics

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Design Team Third-party Libraries Thanks To
  • Michael Dubson (developer/lead)
  • Trish Loeblein