Investigating Factors That Affect the Period Time of a Simple Pendulum
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Investigating Factors That Affect the Period Time of a Simple Pendulum
Planning Definitions: Oscillation : Repeated motion of pendulum (to and for) Period (T) : Time taken for one full oscillation In this investigation, I am going to experimentally determine a factor which will affect the period of a simple pendulum and the mathematical relationship of this factor. This type of pendulum will consist of a mass hanging on a length of string. Factors which affect the period (T) of a pendulum:  Length (L) of pendulum  Angle of amplitude  Gravitational field strength (g)  Mass of bob I predict that the period will be affected by the length of the pendulum. An increase in length will produce an increase in time. I based by prediction on the scientific theory I found in a physics text book: The pendulum is able to work when the bob is raised to an angle larger than the point at which it is vertically suspended at rest. By raising the bob, the pendulum gains Gravitation Potential Energy or GPE, as in being raised, it is held above this point of natural suspension and so therefore is acting against the natural gravitational force. Once the bob is released, this gravitational force is able to act on it, thus moving it downwards towards its original hanging point. We can say therefore, that as it is released, the GPE is converted into Kinetic Energy (KE) needed for the pendulum to swing. Once the bob returns to its original point of suspension, the GPE has been totally converted into KE, causing the bob to continue moving past its pivot point and up to a height equidistant from its pivot as its starting point. The same factors affect the pendulum on its reverse swing. GPE gained after reaching its highest point in its swing, is converted into KE needed for it to return back to its natural point of vertical suspension. Due to this continuous motion, the bob creates an arc shaped swing. The movement of the pendulum is repeated until an external force acts on it, causing it to cease in movement. The pendulum never looses any energy, it is simply converted from one form to another and back again. I am therefore going to experimentally determine the relationship between the length of the pendulum and the period. In the scientific theory, I found a formula relating the length of the pendulum to the period. It stated that: P = 2 L g P = The period g = Gravitational Field Strength L = Length of string This formula shows that L is the only variable that when altered will affect the value of P, as all the other values are constants. The formula: P = 2 L g can be rearranged to produce the formula: P = 4 L g and therefore: P = 4 L g As 4 and g are both constants, this means that P must be directly proportional to L. I can now say that the length of the pendulum does have an affect on the period, and as the length of the pendulum increases, the length of the period will also increase. I will draw a graph of P against L. As they are directly proportional to each other, the predicted graph should show a straight line through the origin: Method  I will firstly set up a clamp stand with a piece of string 50cm long attached to it.  A mass of 50g will be attached securely to the end of the string  The mass will be held to one side at an angle of 45 degrees (measured with a protractor), and then released.  A stop clock will be used to time taken for one full oscillation  This will be repeated a number of times, each time shortening the length of string by 10cm  The length of the pendulum will be plotted against the period on a graph. NB. The final length of string and mass will be decided after my preliminary investigation. Apparatus:  Meter ruler  Protractor  Clamp stand  Gclamp  Stop clock  String  Mass Diagram: The following factors will be considered when providing a fair test:  The mass will be a constant of 50g throughout the experiment  Angle of amplitude shall be a constant of 45 degrees. This will ensure that there is no variation of the forces acting on the pendulum.  The value of gravitational field strength will inevitably remain constant, helping me to provide a fair test.  The intervals between the string lengths will increase by 10cm each time. This will help me to identify a clear pattern in my results.  If any anomalous results are identified, readings will be repeated. This will ensure that all readings are sufficiently accurate.  To ensure that the velocity is not affected, I will ensure that there are no obstructions to the swing of the pendulum. The following factors will be considered when providing a safe test:  Care will be taken not to let the bob come into contact with anything whilst swinging the pendulum, as the weight is relatively heavy (50g)  The clamp stand will be firmly secured to the bench with a Gclamp so that the clamp stand will not move, affecting the results.  Excessively large swings will be avoided (angle of amplitude will be 45 degrees Results of preliminary investigation: Length of string (cm) Period (secs) 50 2.58 40 2.31 30 2.11 20 1.78 10 1.39 My preliminary investigation was successful. The results from my table back up my prediction that, as the length of the pendulum increases, the period increases. I learned from my preliminary investigation that my proposed method may not give me sufficiently accurate results. These results may be inaccurate due to a slight error of measurement in time, height or length. Although this experiment produced no anomalies, I will take three readings of each value during my final experiment and take an average. I will also measure the time taken for 5 oscillations rather that 1 and then divide the result by 5. These two changes will hopefully help me to identify and eliminate anomalies, should they occur. They should also add to the accuracy of my results. Obtaining Evidence I used the method proposed in my plan, taking three readings of each value and measuring the time taken for 5 oscillations rather than for 1. During the experiment, I observed that each oscillation for the same length of string seemed to be equal. This showed that the pendulum did not slow down as the number of oscillations increased. I took the safety measures described in my original plan. During the experiment I was careful to use accurate measurements in order to obtain sufficiently accurate results, for example:  The string was measured with a meter ruler, to the nearest mm, to ensure that each measurement had a difference of exactly 10cm.  The angle of amplitude will be measured with a protractor to the nearest degree to ensure that the angle remains constant throughout the experiment.  A stop clock will be used to measure the period accurately. The period was measured in seconds, with the stop clock measuring to the degree of two decimal places of a second. However, I have rounded up each time to the nearest second to give appropriate results.  The mass was measured using five10g masses, to ensure that the mass remained constant throughout the experiment. Results: Length of string (cm) Period (secs) 50 7.2 8.1 6.45 40 6.25 6.6 6.4 30 5.6 5.2 6.15 20 4.55 4.5 4.6 10 2.95 3.25 3.0 I took three readings of each value and took an average for each concentration. I then divided by 5 to get the average reading for one oscillation. This again should influence the accuracy of my results. Table of averages: Length of string (cm) Period (secs) 50 1.45 40 1.28 30 1.13 20 0.91 10 0.61 Using the formula, T = 2 L g found in the Scientific Theory, I calculated the perfect results that should have been obtained, had my experiment followed the formula exactly: Length of string (cm) Period (secs)_ 50 1.44 40 1.25 30 1.07 20 0.91 10 0.64 Using my averaged results, I squared P to show the relationship between P and L: Length of string (cm) Period (secs)_ 50 2.1 40 1.64 30 1.28 20 0.83 10 0.37 As all my results were accurate, I had no need to repeat any of them. However, had there been an anomalous result, or had I come across any problems, I would have repeated my results to identify the cause and eliminate anomalies. Analysing evidence and concluding Using the results from my table, I drew a graph to show what had been obtained from the experiment (see graph A). The graph clearly shows a smooth curve with a positive gradient. This indicates that as the length of the pendulum is increased, the period will increase. Although my second graph (see graph B), does not show a perfect straight line through the origin, a line of best fit can be drawn to show this. This backs up the theory in my scientific knowledge, that P is directly proportional to L, i.e. if the length of string was doubled, the period would be doubled. My table of results drawn from my experiment was extremely similar to the results produced from the scientific formula, showing that my experiment was successful. My two graphs showed resemblance to my predicted graphs, indicating that my results were sufficiently accurate and therefore, my proposed method was reliable for this experiment. My findings indicate that the time period varies directly with the length of the string when all other factors remain constant. Evaluating The evidence obtained from my experiment supported my prediction that as the length of the pendulum increases, the period increases. This is also shown in Graph A, as the graph displays a smooth curve with a positive gradient. My method in squaring P was successful, as I discovered that T was directly proportional to L, providing all other values remain constant. This was shown by a straight line going through the origin (Graph B). These results were encouraging and led me to believe that my proposed method was sufficient for the experiment. Some of the results were not accurate, as they did not match the results produced by the formula. This could have been due to human error. However, the majority of my results were no more than a decimal place away from the formula results and, therefore, quite reliable. Had there been any anomalous results, I would have repeated my readings. Factors which may have affected the accuracy of my results include:  Error in measurement of angle of altitude. This angle proved difficult to measure and it was hard to get the exact same angle for each result. To improve the accuracy of this measurement, I could have attached the protractor to the clamp stand so that it was in a fixed position.  Error in measurement of string. To improve the accuracy of this, I could have marked off the points with a pen to ensure they were as accurately measured as possible.  Human reaction time. Depending on human reaction time, the measurement period time could have been measured inaccurately, due to slow reactions when setting the stopclock etc. This could have been improved by involving another person to aid me with my experiment, for a quicker reaction time. The procedure was relatively reliable, excluding human error, and so I can conclude that my evidence is sufficient to support a firm conclusion that: The only factor which affects the period of a simple pendulum is its length. As the length increases, so does the period. If I were to extend my investigation, I would investigate to provide additional evidence to back up my conclusion, for example, changing the mass or angle of altitude. The results gained would hopefully aid me further in supporting my Scientific Theory. It would also be interesting to investigate how the factors are affected when the Gravitational Field Strength is different, i.e.. not 9.8 Newtons. the factors which affect the time for one full oscillation of a pendulum =============================================================== An investigation on the factors affecting the period of one complete oscillation of a simple pendulum In this investigation I aim to discover and investigate the factors which affect the time for one complete oscillation of a simple pendulum. It is important to understand what a pendulum is. A simple pendulum is a weight or mass suspended from a fixed point and allowed to swing freely. An oscillation is one cycle of the pendulums motion e.g. From position a to b and back to a. The period of oscillation is the time required for the pendulum to complete one cycle of its motion. This is determined by measuring the time required for the pendulum to reoccupy a given position. I am going to do a simple preliminary experiment to investigate which of the factors I test have an effect on the time for one complete oscillation. The factors basic variable factors I can test are: ? Length (the distance between the point of suspension and the mass) ? Mass (the weight in g of the item suspended from the fixed point) ? Angle (the angle between the point of equilibrium and the maximum point the pendulum reaches) *The point of equilibrium is the point at which kinetic energy (KE) is the only force making the mass move and not gravitational potential energy (GPE). I will test the extremes of these factors as I can assume that if they have any effect on the period of oscillation it will become obvious. To make sure my results are reliable and to allow for any anomalies I will repeat the experiment 4 times for each extreme. I will also keep all the other factors constant so if the results change for the different extremes I can be sure which factor is causing this change, as all the others will remain constant. To keep the results as accurate as possible I will measure the period of 10 oscillations and only use one decimal place to allow for my reaction time. Results Angle (º) Time Taken (sec) for 10 oscillations 90º 13·4 13·4 13·8 13·7 Average:13·6 45º 13·2 13·2 13·1 12·9 13·1 Length: 0·3m, Mass: 20g Mass (g) Time Taken (sec) for 10 oscillations 400g 11·1 11·3 11·3 11·4 Average:11·3 100g 11·6 11·1 11·0 11·2 11·2 Length: 0·2cm, Angle: 45º Length (cm) Time Taken (sec) for 10 oscillations 0·25m 10·4 10·5 10·5 10·3 Average:10·4 0·65m 16·8 16·0 16·5 15·9 Average:16·3 Mass: 50g, Angle: 40º I can see from the results that there is one clear factor, length. For Angle and mass the period for 10 oscillations is roughly the same for both of the extremes. The variation between the averages is small enough for me to conclude that these factors have a minimal effect if any on the period of an oscillation. From the information from this preliminary experiment I can now go onto investigate how precisely length effects the oscillation period of a pendulum. I have also learnt from this preliminary it is necessary for the clamp stand to be held firmly in place so it does not rock. Scientific Theory As a pendulum is released it falls using GPE which can be calculated using mass (kg) x gravitational field strength (which on earth is 10 N/Kg) x height (m). As soon as the pendulum moves this becomes KE which can be calculated using 1/2 x mass (kg) x velocity2 (m/s2) and GPE. At the point of equilibrium the pendulum just uses KE and then it returns to KE and GPE and finally when the pendulum reaches maximum rise it is just GPE and this continues. From this I can deduce that KE = GPE. If these were the only forces acting on the pendulum it would go on swinging forever but the energy is gradually converted to heat energy by friction with the air (drag) and with the point the mass is hung from. The amplitude of the oscillation therefore decreases until eventually the pendulum comes to a rest at the point of equilibrium. From this I can now explain why the amplitude and the mass have no effect on the period of oscillation. As the amplitude is increased so too is the GPE because the height is increased which affects the GPE and therefore the KE must also increase by the same amount. The pendulum then oscillates faster because height or distance is involved in v2 in the KE formula. However the pendulum has a larger distance to cover so they balance each other out and the period remains the same. The period is also the same if the amplitude is reduced. For the mass as it is increased this affects both the GPE and the KE as they both contain mass in their formulas but velocity is not affected. The formulas below show that mass can be cancelled out so it does not affect the velocity at all. GPE = KE mgh = 1/2mv2 Length affects the period of a pendulum and I have found a formula to prove this and I will now attempt to explain it. The formula is: T=period of one oscillation (seconds) p=pi or p l=length of pendulum (cm) g=gravitational field strength (10m/s on earth) This shows that the gravitational field strength and length both have an effect on the period. However although the 'g' on earth varies slightly depending on where you are as the experiments are all being done in the same place this will have no effect as a variable. Length is now the only variable. This means that T2 is directly proportional to length. T2= 2pl g The distance between a and b is greater in the first pendulum. However the pendulum has gained no amplitude so therefore no additional GPE or KE so it will still travel at the same speed. The first pendulum therefore has a greater distance to travel and at the same speed so it will have a greater period. I can predict from this scientific knowledge that the period squared will be directly proportional to the length. Apparatus: ? Stopwatch ? Weights ? Ruler ? Protractor ? Gclamp ? Clamp stand ? String Method: The apparatus was set up as shown above. The amplitude was always 45ºand the mass 10g. I held the string taut and started the stopwatch when I released the pendulum; I then stopped the stopwatch after the tenth oscillation. I used a range of 10cm to 100cm to use a suitable range of measurements. I also repeated each length 4 times to make the average gained more reliable and to allow for any anomalies. To make the results more accurate I also counted 10 oscillations meaning if you divide the period by ten your reaction time, which affects the length of the period, is reduced by 9/10. To make sure this was as fair a test as possible I: ? Tried to create as little friction as possible where the string is attached to the clamp. ? Let go with out adding any extra forces ? Kept the string taut ? Made sure the mass and angle remain the same in case they have a small effect on the period. ? Keep the whole experiment in the same place so that the gravitational field strength does not change To make this a safe experiment: ? No weight above 400g ? No angles above 90º ? The clamp stand is secure Results: A Table to show the periodic time for 10 oscillations for various lengths Periodic time (seconds) Length (m) 0·1 6·1 6·1 6·1 6·0 Average periodic time: 6·08 0·2 8·6 8·7 8·6 8·7 Average periodic time: 8·65 0·3 10·2 10·3 10·3 10·3 Average periodic time: 10·28 0·4 12·6 12·4 12·6 12·3 Average periodic time: 12·48 0·5 14·0 14·1 13·9 13·8 Average periodic time: 13·95 0·6 15·2 15·3 15·3 15·3 Average periodic time: 15·28 0·7 16·4 16·4 16·5 16·6 Average periodic time: 16·48 0·8 17·8 17·6 17·5 17·7 Average periodic time: 17·65 0·9 18·8 18·5 18·4 18·8 Average periodic time: 18·63 1·0 19·6 19·3 19·3 19·3 Average periodic time: 19·38 Angle: 45°, Mass:10g To find the average period of one oscillation I must divide my average for 10 oscillations by 10. A table to show the period of one oscillation for various lengths Length Period Period according to formula 0·1 0·61 0·63 0·2 0·87 0·89 0·3 1·03 1·09 0·4 1·25 1·26 0·5 1·40 1·40 0·6 1·53 1·54 0·7 1·65 1·66 0·8 1·77 1·78 0·9 1·86 1·88 1·0 1·93 1·99 I am now going to create a table by rearranging the formula I found so length is directly proportional to the period of oscillation squared. A table to show the period squared for various lengths Length Period squared Period squared according to formula 0·1 0·37 0·40 0·2 0·76 0·79 0·3 1·06 1·19 0·4 1·56 1·59 0·5 1·96 1·96 0·6 2·34 2·37 0·7 2·72 2·76 0·8 3·13 3·17 0·9 3·46 3·53 1·0 3·72 3·96 The above two tables are to two decimal places so that the data is easier to draw a graph from. I did not include the period or the period squared on my graphs because the results are too close together but the tables indicate how near my results were to what they should be in theory. From my results I have found out that the period squared is as predicted directly proportional to the length of the pendulum because my graph is a straight line and goes through 0. Also if you take the length at 0·1m the period squared is 0·37 and then if you take the length at 0·5m the period squared is 1·96m. The point of this is to show that that both the period and the length go up by nearly exactly the same proportion because 0·5/0·1=5 and 1·96/0·37=5·3. The graph with period plotted against length also provides the useful information that period and length have a relationship, which involves the indice 2 . I have noticed the pattern that if you divide the period squared of the pendulum by the length of the pendulum you get roughly the same figure each time and that the ratio between length and the period squared is roughly 1:38. I can draw a conclusion from my evidence that the formula: This is correct because if you rearrange it to form T2= 2pl this fits perfectly g with the graph and my results. If you remove the constants from the formula you are left with a direct link from T2 to l. The curve also reinforces the original formula by showing that as l increases by 0·1 the period increases by a much larger percentage. As the length increases the period goes up in smaller and smaller amounts, which again agrees with the formula. These results totally support my original prediction and they also support the scientific theory. The shape of the graph immediately shows this. The results obtained show that my experiment was successful for investigating how length effects the period of an oscillation because they are the same and agree with what I predicted would happen. The procedure used was not too bad because my results are very similar to what they would be under perfect circumstances. My results are reasonably accurate as they fulfil what I thought and said would happen. However there are a few minor anomalies which can be seen in the graphs and in the tables. They have a larger gap from what they should have been according to the formula than usual. At 1m there is an anomaly which is a few fractions of a second away from the line of best fit. Most of the procedure was suitable because it gave a useful and relevant outcome but it could have been improved in a number of ways. The reliability of the evidence could be increased by making the angle more precise, making sure the string is taut when the pendulum is released and making the string the exact length it should to be. The anomalous results I have may be down to a number of reasons but could mainly be blamed on my releasing the pendulum and providing it with an external force, which would affect the period. My timing of the stopping and starting of the stopwatch could be inaccurate. The overall results may be a 1/100 of a second out because I used the gravitational field strength of 10 when the actual field strength may be different. If the above improvements were added in, the results would be more accurate and reliable. To further this work, I would repeat each length providing more accurate averages. I would provide additional evidence for my conclusion by increasing the range of lengths and decreasing the intervals between the lengths to five centimetres. These additions would extend my investigation further. How to Cite this Page
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"Investigating Factors That Affect the Period Time of a Simple Pendulum." 123HelpMe.com. 16 Apr 2014 <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=122590>. 
