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Bifilar pendulum set-up

Twine attached to the crossbar

Bifilar pendulum set-up

Twine attached to upright

Bifilar Pendulum

This experiment explores the use of dimensional analysis in modeling the oscillation of a complex pendulum (see left/below/whatever). You will derive an equation giving the period of oscillation and use dimensional analysis—matching the physical units on either side—to ensure the equation is correct. You will then experimentally determine the relevant exponents in the proposed equation by taking multiple, repeated measurements and performing a statistical analysis to the data.  

You will gain experience in planning your own data collection as part of a team, as well as plotting and fitting the linearised data. For advice on this, [see our excel guides/information here].  

For a simulation of the motion of the pendulum, see here. Current students can find more information [on Learn Ultra]. 

In this session you will have

  • Learned to use dimensional analysis to derive unknown equations
  • Used a bifilar pendulum
  • Used logarithmns when plotting graphs
  • Practiced curve fitting
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