January 30th, 2015, 11:43 AM  #1 
Newbie Joined: Jan 2010 Posts: 11 Thanks: 0  "Simple Pendulum" problem
Hi All! My googlefu 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 outermost 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 11:48 AM. 
January 30th, 2015, 01:47 PM  #2 
Math Team Joined: Jul 2011 From: Texas Posts: 2,778 Thanks: 1430 
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. $\displaystyle T = 2\pi \sqrt{\frac{L}{g}}$ 
January 30th, 2015, 02:16 PM  #3 
Newbie Joined: Jan 2010 Posts: 11 Thanks: 0 
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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