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January 30th, 2015, 10:43 AM   #1
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Question "Simple Pendulum" problem

Hi All!

My google-fu is failing me -- These forums have always been awesome with my questions, so I appreciate any help you all can give me.

I have a simple pendulum... i know the gravity (g), the length (L) and the period (the time it takes to travel from A to B and back to A).

Is there any possible way to figure out the angle theta? Well, to be more specific, theta when the pendulum is on it's outer-most position, before it starts swinging back the other way.

Bonus Points!
Can you figure out the length of the arc the bob travels?

Last edited by sonicmouse; January 30th, 2015 at 10:48 AM.
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January 30th, 2015, 12:47 PM   #2
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The period of oscillation does not depend on the angle $\displaystyle \theta$. The period will stay the same for any displacement angle $\displaystyle \theta$ that results in simple harmonic motion ($\displaystyle \theta$ less than approximately 15 degrees).

The period of a simple pendulum exhibiting SHM depends only on the pendulum length and the acceleration due to gravity.

$\displaystyle T = 2\pi \sqrt{\frac{L}{g}}$
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January 30th, 2015, 01:16 PM   #3
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ok, thanks -- I was thinking about it all wrong.

I was thinking about a clock pendulum; where it swings back and forth with a consistent period. But that isn't technically the same thing, since the pendulum's swing is influenced by external forces (such as the main spring energy).

Now I get it!
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