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Simple Pendulum - Mass on a String

Objective 1: To identify the simple pendulum as another example of simple harmonic motion

Objective 2: To derive the restoring force for a simple pendulum

A simple pendulum or a mass on a string is another example of simple harmonic motion. The following illustration shows the force diagram and quantities important for evaluating the periodic motion of a simple pendulum.

The restoring force for a simple pendulum is the relation F = mgsin(theta)



m - mass of the pendulum bob

L - length of the pendulum from pivot to bob's center of mass

g - acceleration of gravity

theta (angle) - angular displacement of the pendulum

s - linear displacement

T - Tension


Go To Simple Pendulum Graph

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