Simple Harmonic Motion and Pendulums
Featured in PASCO’s Advanced Physics Teacher Guide
Use a photogate and pendulum to determine earth's gravitational acceleration.
Using a simple pendulum, design and conduct an experiment to determine earth's gravitational acceleration through a graphical method.
- Explore the basic mathematical concept and behavior of a simple pendulum.
- Using the theory and mathematical relationships involving a simple pendulum, determine an experimental value for earth's gravitational acceleration.
Students gain experience conducting the following procedures:
- Measuring the pendulum arm length and period for several different pendulum arm lengths while holding the bob mass constant.
- Plotting pendulum period versus square root of arm length to create a linear relationship.
- Using a line of best fit whose slope is equal to 2π/√g to extrapolate a value for the acceleration due to gravity.
Sensors / Equipment Used
SPARK Science Learning System (PS-2008A)
An all-in-one mobile device that seamlessly integrates the power of probeware with inquiry-based content.
PASPORT Digital Adapter (PS-2159)
The Digital Adapter allows ScienceWorkshop analog sensors to be connected and used with PASPORT interfaces.
Photogate Pendulum Set (ME-8752)
Set of four pendula (brass, plastic, wood, and aluminum) that are ideal for timing experiments with photogates.
Photogate Head (ME-9498A)
Monitors the motion of objects passing through its gate, counting events as the object breaks the infrared beam. For use with PASPORT and ScienceWorkshop Interfaces.
Base and Support Rod (ME-9355)
Provides a level base for basic lab experiments.
Pendulum Clamp (ME-9506)
Hang up to three pendula from precisely the same height.
The Associated Bundle