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Chapter SHM Example 01_02

1.5 Example of investigate the motion of an oscillator using experimental and graphical methods

1.5.1.Q1: what is the maximum angle of release before the motion is not accurately described as a simple harmonic motion for the case of a simple free pendulum?

Example 1: Simple pendulum A pendulum bob given an initial horizontal displacement and released to swing freely to produce to and fro motion

1.5.2 Suggested Inquiry Steps:

  1.     Define the question in your own words
  2.     Plan an investigation to explore angle of release to record the actual period T and theoretical period  T t h e or y = 2 π L g   where L is the length of the mass pendulum of mass, m and g is the gravitational acceleration of which the mass is experiencing, on Earth's surface  g = 9.81 m/s2
  3.     A suggested record of the results could look like this   
angle / degree T /s  Ttheory / s e r r or = ( T - T t h e or y ) T 100 %











        With the evidences collected or otherwise, suggests what the conditions of which the angle of oscillation can the actual period T be approximated to theoretical period such that  T  ≈  T t h e or y = 2 π L g

1.5.3 Suggested Answer 1:

 angle θ  ≈ 10 degrees for e r r or = ( 2.010 - 2.006 ) 2.010 ( 100 ) = 0.2 % , depending on what is the error acceptable, small angle is typically about less than 10 degree of swing from the vertical.

1.5.4 Conclusion:

Motion approximates simple harmonic motion when the angle of oscillation is small < 10 degrees..

1.5.5 Other Interesting fact(s):

Motion approximates SHM when the spring does not exceed limit of proportionality during oscillations.

1.5.6 Real Life Application of Small Angle Approximations:

Astronomical applications of the Small Angle Approximation

1.5.7 YouTube This video shows many pendulums that goes in phase and out of phase with each other pendulum to creating a visually stunning effect.

1.5.8 Model:

  1. Run Sim



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  • Secondary
  • Dynamics
  • Oscillations
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