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Experiment No.

The Simple Pendulum
Aim: -
To study simple harmonic motion of the simple pendulum and to
measure the acceleration of gravity g.
Apparatus: -
A simple pendulum consists of a mass suspended by a light string
from a rigid support. The length of the string is large compared to
the dimensions of the mass, as illustrated in Figure 1.

Figure 1
Theory: -
When a simple pendulum is displaced from its equilibrium
position, there will be a restoring force that moves the pendulum
back towards its equilibrium position. As the motion of the
pendulum carries it past the equilibrium position, the restoring
force F changes its direction so that it is still directed towards the
equilibrium position. This motion is called simple harmonic
motion. The equation for the period of simple harmonic motion
𝑇 = 2𝜋√ (1)
Where T is the time to make one complete oscillation which is
defined as the period, m is the mass and k is force constant.
𝐹 = − 𝑚. 𝑔. 𝑠𝑖𝑛𝜃 (2)
Where g is the acceleration of gravity, 𝜃 is the angle the pendulum
is displaced, and the minus sign (-)
indicates that the force is opposite to the displacement. For small
amplitudes where 𝜃 is small (less than
15°), sin𝜃 can be approximated by 𝜃 measured in radians so that
Equation (2) can be written as
𝐹 = −𝑚. 𝑔. 𝜃 (3)
The angle 𝜃 in radians is ( ), the arc length divided by the length of
the pendulum or the radius of the circle in which the mass moves.
By substituting this into Equation (3), the restoring force F is then
given by
𝐹 = − (𝑚𝑔/𝐿). 𝑥 (4)
Also, F is directly proportional to the displacement x and is in the
form of Equation (1)
Where k = mg/L . Substituting this value of k into Equation (2), the
period of a simple pendulum can be found by

𝑇 = 2𝜋√ (5)

4𝜋 2 𝐿
𝑔= 2 (6)
1. Measure the length of the pendulum to the middle of the
pendulum mass. Record the length of the pendulum in the table
2. Displace the mass at a small angle (less than 15°). Measure the
time period for 10 oscillations with the provided stop watch. Then
the period T for one oscillation is just the number recorded divided
by 10 using the following equation:
𝑡𝑖𝑚𝑒 𝑓𝑜𝑟 10 𝑜𝑠𝑐𝑖𝑙𝑙𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑠
10 𝑜𝑠𝑐𝑖𝑙𝑙𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛𝑠
3. Record your observations as given below.
1) Calculate the average value of g (gav).
# L (cm) mass time for 10 Period, T2(sec)2 g
(g) oscillations T(sec) (m/s2)
1 85.5 m1 16.68 1.668 2.78 12.13
2 75 m1 15.68 1.568 2.45 12.04
3 65 m1 14.64 1.464 2.14 11.97
4 55 m1 13.16 1.316 1.73 12.53
5 55 m2 13.6 1.360 1.84 11.73