# Simple Harmonic Motion and Pendulums

Featured in PASCO’s **Advanced Physics Teacher Guide**

### Lab Summary

Use a photogate and pendulum to determine earth's gravitational acceleration.

### Theory

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.

### Method

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.

#### Materials Used

Meter Stick

Pendulum Bob

Scissors

Thread

### The Associated Bundle