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SRP: The Effect of Different String Lengths on a Pendulum's Period

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by

Kristen C.

on 2 April 2011

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Transcript of SRP: The Effect of Different String Lengths on a Pendulum's Period

The Effect of Varying String Lengths on the Period of a Pendulum Hypothesis:
If the string length of a pendulum is increased, then the period of a pendulm will increase. Purpose:
The purpose of the experiment is to obeserve the effects of varying string lengths on a pendulum's period. Independent Variable: String Lengths
Dependent Variable: Period
Control: It would be zero but it would be impossible to test
Constants:
Bob
Type of string
Drop height (\_/) Procedure:
The string was measured by a tape measure in increments of 64cm, 81cm, 100cm, and 144cm from the center of the 10g weight or bob hanging from the end of a pendulum, to the end of the ruler. The bob of the pendulum was dropped from the 45 degrees mark on the protractor and was stopped after completing one full period, back and forth. The period of the pendulum, in seconds, was observed and recorded by a stopwatch. Results
Because the longer 144 cm string length did have the longer mean period, 2.51 seconds, the data did support the hypothesis. By applying a known physics equation relating the period of a pendulum to gravity, this experiment’s mean period per each variable length of string was further used to solve for earth’s gravity.
In fact, the mean of these calculations for earth’s gravity, based on this experiment, was calculated to be 10.09 m/ sec², which was fairly close to the accepted constant of 9.8m/sec² for earth’s gravity.
Conclusion
The major finding of the experiment is that the longer the string length of a pendulum, the longer the period possibly because of the increased arc distance for the bob to travel. The longest string length, 144cm, had the longest mean period, 2.516 seconds. For improved experimental design, a more accurate timer, such as an electronic or laser timer, could be used. Additional studies could be made varying the mass of the bob, or the type of string to determine the effect on the pendulum’s period. A possible application of this experiment could be to use the mean pendulum’s period per length to calculate how well the experiment estimates the gravitational force of the Earth through the known equation: String lengths 64cm-100cm were suspended from the edge of the kitchen counter. Pendulum string was taped to a ruler's edge and the length was measured from the edge to the center of the bo. A protractor was taped behind the yarn to set the drop height. String lenght 144 was so long that it had to be suspended from the second story edge. By: Kristen Choi
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