Knowledge | Experiments

The physics of a pendulum

A month ago at OlyDay, Physics Olympiad invited visitors to their stand to try a little pendulum experiment from Phybox. Want to redo it at home? Looking for an activity to do in your physics class? Here are the instructions.

The physics stand at OlyDay on September 30. (Image: Claudia Christen)

  1. Download Phyphox on your phone
  2. Scroll down to ‘Pendulum’ 
  3. Select ‘Timed run’ in the upper right corner
  4. Set the start delay and experiment duration to a reasonable value. Activate the acoustic signals to indicate the start and end of the experiment.
  5. Put your phone in the transparent bag at the end of the pendulum. Hold the pendulum at a length of your choice. You can use the ruler on the whiteboard to estimate the length. How do you think does the length of the pendulum influence the movement of your phone? Does the weight of your phone have an influence as well?
  6. Start the experiment on the phone and initiate an oscillation of the pendulum.
  7. Report the measured period T and length l   on the whiteboard (or in the comments of Instagram, if not on site in Bern)
  8. Looking at the reported measurements of the other people, you think your intuition about the influence of pendulum length and phone weight was correct?


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