This animated Shockwave activity explores pendulum motion by displaying the patterns traced by the tip of an ideal pendulum. Swing it back and forth from different heights and change the length of the string. But now it gets more complicated: the user can jump to another planet to see how changing gravity affects the motion of the pendulum. Students will also explore why the pendulum traces out a flower-shaped pattern rather than a straight line. (This occurs because of Earth's rotation -- making it seem as though the pendulum is turning when, actually, the earth is turning.) The simulation can change the rate of planetary rotation to show what the pattern would look like on a fast or slow-spinning planet. The game ends by putting all four variables together.
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Metadata instance created
October 12, 2010
by Caroline Hall
September 23, 2014
by Caroline Hall
Last Update when Cataloged:
September 30, 2010
AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)
4. The Physical Setting
4B. The Earth
6-8: 4B/M3. Everything on or anywhere near the earth is pulled toward the earth's center by gravitational force.
4G. Forces of Nature
3-5: 4G/E1. The earth's gravity pulls any object on or near the earth toward it without touching it.
6-8: 4G/M1. Every object exerts gravitational force on every other object. The force depends on how much mass the objects have and on how far apart they are. The force is hard to detect unless at least one of the objects has a lot of mass.
This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.
Topic: Periodic and Simple Harmonic Motion Unit Title: Simple Harmonic Motion
The amount of time it takes a pendulum to swing back and forth stays the same when you change its weight. But what if you took the pendulum to another planet? This animation lets students interactively explore pendulum length, the force of gravity, and rotation of the planet to see how they affect the motion of the pendulum.
%0 Electronic Source %D September 30, 2010 %T PBS Learning Media: Virtual Pendulum %I WGBH Educational Foundation %V 2017 %N 19 February 2017 %8 September 30, 2010 %9 application/shockwave %U http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/phy03.sci.phys.mfw.zpendulumint/virtual-pendulum/
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