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Assessment Task - 15% Investigating Acceleration due to Gravity Through Pendulum Motion

A simple diagram showing pendulum motion NOTE: At the end of the web based activities on gravity under the Assessment tab there was a link to a website containing a Java applet which modeled pendulum motion. This website is critical for you to get a good understanding on how different aspects of a pendulum can affect its motion. If you have not yet visited this link it is posted below. Please be aware, if you are visiting this website outside of class time there are a number of different options on the pendulum applet that you do not need to worry about. What you need to pay very close attention to is how changing the length and mass affect the oscillation period time. The information you get from this applet will most certainly help you design your experiment. LINK: http://www.walter-fendt.de/ph14e/pendulum.htm

As you should all know, this assessment is given in conjunction with the recent web based work you have completed on the concept of gravity. You will be required to design an experiment to measure the acceleration due to gravity using a homemade pendulum and some interesting (but straight forward) mathematics. This assessment will have two parts.

PART 1 (5%) Research the title of this assignment for ideas on how you might be able to conduct this experiment. For this part of the assignment you are required to write up an experimental aim, hypothesis, materials list and method which is to be submitted by the due date. This will then be examined by me and I will provide comments on your work and give a mark which will count for 5% out of the total 15% available. It will then be returned to you all at the same time to continue with Part 2.

PART 2 (10%) Following approval you will be required to conduct this experiment. This can be conducted at school or at home. If at school, please ensure you make me aware of this and I will organise a space and time for you to conduct your experiment. Also be aware I will not be able to help those that do their experiment at school as it is a disadvantage to those working at home. There will be some materials available if needed. After you have conducted your experiment and collect the appropriate results you will need to calculate your value for g and present this in the results section along with the calculations. Equations will not be provided but can be readily found online See me if you are having troubles. A discussion and a conclusion will be required along with a reference list. Please make sure you incorporate any feedback given from Part 1 before the full report is submitted in Part 2. A report structure is provided below along with points to MUST talk about in some sections.

Full Report Structure Part 2


Title Corrected if needed. Aim Corrected if needed. Hypothesis Corrected if needed. Materials Corrected if needed. Methods Corrected if needed. Can be joined with the materials if wished. Results Include all data with repeats was well as all calculations of averages and the g calculation. Speak about any potential errors that may have led to you not obtaining a g value to the proposed 9.8 ms-2. Also discuss potential ways in which this experiment might be improved upon e.g. accuracy and reliability.

Discussion Complete a brief discussion in which you should answer these questions: The acceleration due to gravity, 9.8 ms-2, is not constant around the world. Explain why is this? Also include where g would be expected to be higher or lower. Calculate and discuss what the gravity on Mars and Neptune would be like in comparison to Earth. Please include working. Discuss ways in which the acceleration due to gravity is accurately measured around the world. Conclusion A few sentences summarizing your experiment. Reference List Any references you used during your research.

Please contact me if you have any questions. Good luck!