Grade Level: 8 (7 – 9) Lessons in thisUnit: 1 2 3 Time Required: 45 minutes Subject Areas:
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You are watching: To what angle does the pendulum swing on the other side?
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Motion: Newton's Laws Motion Commotion Ring around the Rosie Swinging on a String
pendulums made clocks possible
Students explore how pendulums work and why they are useful in everyday applications. In a hands-on activity, they experiment with string length, pendulum weight and angle of release. In an associated literacy activity, students explore the mechanical concept of rhythm, based on the principle of oscillation, in a broader biological and cultural context — in dance and sports, poetry and other literary forms, and communication in general.
Engineers know that understanding the physics of how pendulums behave is an important step towards understanding all kinds of motion. Many other objects move back and forth regularly like pendulums, such as a weight bouncing up and down on a spring, and the back and forth movement of radio waves. In addition to using pendulums in clocks, engineers use them to detect earthquakes, measure how fast a bullet is flying, help buildings to resist earthquake shaking and help robots balance. In Taiwan”s capital city, the Taipei 101 skyscraper has a giant 726-ton pendulum suspended over the 88th floor to counteract winds, reducing the building”s sway and keeping motion sickness at bay.
After this lesson, students should be able to:
Explain how weight, length and angle of swing affect the period of a pendulum.Relate the study of physics and Galileo”s experiments with the creation of clocks.Describe how the conservation of momentum relates to pendulums.Give examples of how engineers use pendulums.
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