Featured in PASCO’s Physics through Inquiry Teacher Guide

Physics through Inquiry Teacher Guide

(PS-2873C)

Features over 30 inquiry based labs covering the core topic areas of mechanics, electricity and magnetism, optics, thermodynamics and more.

Pendulum

Lab Summary

Use a motion sensor to determine how the mass and length of a simple pendulum affect its period of oscillation.

Theory

This activity helps students determine how the mass and length of a simple pendulum affect its period of oscillation. Students determine:

  • The period of a simple pendulum with variable mass but constant length.
  • The period of a simple pendulum with variable length but constant mass.
  • An experimental value for the acceleration due to gravity using a simple pendulum.

Method

Students will gain experience conducting the following procedures:

  • Measuring the position of a pendulum bob with respect to time.
  • Identifying and measuring the period of oscillation for a simple pendulum from a graph of position versus time.
  • Drawing a conclusion concerning the period of a simple pendulum as a function of the mass of the bob.
  • Constructing a graph of pendulum arm length versus period and drawing conclusions about the relationship between the two variables.
  • Constructing a graph of pendulum arm length versus the square of the period and drawing conclusions about the relationship between the two variables.

Sensors / Equipment Used:

PASPORT Motion Sensor

(PS-2103A)

The PASPORT Motion Sensor accurately measures position, velocity, and acceleration of a target. Can be used to track the motion of carts, balls, people and more.

Materials Used:

Balance

Large table clamp

Metric tape measure

Pendulum bobs of the same size (but different materials) ~ 3

Pendulum clamp

Rod stand

Short rod

String

Your Bundle Options:

Option 1:

Physics Starter Sensor Bundle

(PS-2923)

A sensor bundle specifically designed to get you started using probeware in your physics lab. Also: perform 26 of the 37 Lab Activities from Physics through Inquiry.

Option 2:

Physics Standard Sensor Bundle

(PS-2931B)

Contains the probeware needed to perform all 37 lab activities in the Physics through Inquiry lab manual.

Interface Required

This experiment may require software and an interface for data collection.