Grades 8th - 12th by Animan Naskar
Instructions : Use the controls to simulate pendulums with different lengths, angles and gravities.
What is Motion?
Motion is the change in position of an object over time. There are two main components of motion - magnitude and direction.
What is Periodic Motion?
A motion that is regular and repeating in equal intervals of time is referred to as a periodic motion. Examples - swinging of a pendulum, vibrations of a tuning fork and revolutions of earth around the sun.
What is a Pendulum?
A simple pendulum consists of a mass that is freely suspended by a string from a fixed support. The mass is called the bob
and hangs directly downwards in the equilibrium
position. When the bob is displaced from the equilibrium and released, it begins to move in a to and fro motion also called periodic motion
. The motion of a pendulum is affected by gravity and inertia. Gravity causes the pendulum to fall towards equilibrium position and inertia carries it to the extreme positions. In an ideal pendulum, each oscillation
takes an equal time interval. But that is not so in real pendulums due to friction at the pivot and air drag on the bob.
Properties of a Pendulum
- Oscillation - A single to and fro movement of the pendulum.
- Time Period - The time taken for one oscillation. It depends on gravitational acceleration.
- Length - The length of the pendulum (string) affects the time period of each oscillation.
- Amplitude - It is the maximum displacement from equilibrium. The angle at which the bob is released determines the amplitude.
- Frequency - It is the number of oscillations in a given time period. The SI unit for frequency is Hertz (Hz) which is number of oscillations per second.
To learn more, watch the video : Pendulum