This experiment designed for use with PASCO Capstone software explores the dependence of the period of a simple pendulum on the acceleration due to gravity and on the length and amplitude of the pendulum.
A simple rigid pendulum consists of a 35 cm long lightweight (28 g) aluminum tube with a 150 g mass at the end, mounted on a Rotary Motion Sensor. The pendulum is constrained to oscillate in a plane tilted at an angle from the vertical. This effectively reduces the acceleration due to gravity because the restoring force is decreased.
The period of the pendulum is measured using a Rotary Motion Sensor and the period function in PASCO Capstone.
The rigid pendulum can be assumed to be a simple pendulum: The actual period is approximately 99% of the period of a simple pendulum of the same length.