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Calculations of objects on strings exhibiting simple harmonic motion.

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Practice Pendulum
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On and On it Swings

In the Nick of Time

Credit: Thomas Quine
Source: http://flic.kr/p/a7aAQy
License: CC BY-NC 3.0


Simple Harmonic Motion is a type of motion that is a characteristic of certain springs and pendulums. You might think pendulums have no particular use, but did you know grandfather clocks rely on pendulums to keep track of time?  Despite their age, the clock has remained useful through centuries of use.  It still is a reliable timekeeper to this day.

Creative Applications

  1. Look at a grandfather’s clock.  (Most science museums should have one.  Or your parents/grandparents may still keep one)  Note the motion of the metal rod and bob connected to the clock.  At what spot does the bob stop moving(or speed = 0)?
  2. Using a stopwatch, keep track of how long one period (time it takes to go back to original start) is for the pendulum.  
  3. Will the clock ever stop in real life?  Why or why not?
  4. What will adjusting the weight or length of the rod do?



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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Thomas Quine; Source: http://flic.kr/p/a7aAQy; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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