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Kater's Pendulum Experiment

by Trapezoid
Tags: experiment, kater, pendulum
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Feb16-12, 02:28 PM
P: 10
Hi guys,

Sorry if I've placed this on the wrong board. The blurb says the problems posted here should be math-based, but I wasn't sure of where else would be appropriate.

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

I am tasked with designing an experiment for my second-year experimental physics class which builds on a Kater's pendulum laboratory performed last semester. Kater's pendulum was used to determine local acceleration due to gravity by measuring the period. The guidelines of the project are quite loose with my the only real constraint being that Kater's pendulum must be employed to some end. Additional equipment may be requested and the purpose is completely up to me. Of course, the experiment should be simple as is appropriate to my level of study.

2. Relevant equations


3. The attempt at a solution

I've had difficulty finding applications for Kater's pendulum beyond measuring local gravitational acceleration and I can think of no way building upon that theme, seeing as g is constant in the laboratory. I had thought to either compare Kater's pendulum to simple/compound pendulums or to confirm laws of mechanical oscillation, but these seems rudimentary and unimaginative. Perhaps g could be calculated and compared to the known value provided for the last experiment to help evaluate the quality of the raw data, regardless of the experiment's final purpose.

If anybody's got some ideas worth a look, I'd really appreciate a pointer. I feel as though the project has the potential to be engaging but I am unsure of where to start.


EDIT: Just in case, here's some info on Kater's pendulum. It's an invertible, rigid, freeswinging pendulum.
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