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Open Inquiry: The Pendulum

PreLab

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ASK WHY

Pendulums are used in many engineered objects. They can be found in swings, grandfather clocks, Inertial Guidance systems used in some aircraft instrumentation, and seismographic instruments. Understanding the physics of how pendulums behave is an important step towards understanding motion, gravity, inertia, and centripetal force.

BRANCH OUT

Mechanical engineers design equipment for demolition purposes. They design mobile cranes which use swinging a wrecking ball into structures to knock them down. This process is typically achieved through the use of a pendulum.

GET FOCUSED

You will investigate parameters (variables) that could potentially influence the period of the pendulum.

LEARN THE LabLearner LINGO

The following list includes Key Terms that are introduced in the Investigation Background(s). They should be used, as appropriate, by teachers and students during everyday classroom discourse.

  • length
  • period
  • amplitude
  • mass

Note: Additional words may be bolded within the Background(s). These words are not Key Terms and are strictly emphasized for exposure at this time.

SET FOR SUCCESS

  • Read through the SDR as a class. Remember to make any notes that you think might be helpful. 
  • Divide into lab groups to discuss strategy for the lab. For example, you may assign certain group members to perform specific functions during the lab.