# I am not sure the source of error of simple pendulum experiment

Aim: To measure the acceleration due to gravity using a simple pendulum.

source of error

1. The length of thread between the bob and the coins is not measured by very accurate instruments. Since meter ruler has a large percentage error, as a result, it should be replaced by a vernier caliper.
2. The reaction time of human may also introduce an error to the measurement of 20 completed oscillations of the bob. It can be reduced by using rhythm to count before started.
3. The damping occurred to reduce the amplitude of SHM. The time for counting the oscillation is shorted. The driving frequency of the external force should be closer to the natural frequency of the system and the angle between the bob and vertical should be small in order to diminish the damping.
4. The bob started rotating by the impact of the Earth’s revolution. It disturbs the measurement of counting the oscillation. The experiment should start quickly after moving the bob.

Is that correct?

And one more thing, do the period against length (the string) graph pass through the origin?
The result in my experiment didn't.

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Welcome to the forum.
Maybe you should first describe your experiment.
What is your setup with coins and bob?
For a usual simple pendulum I do not see where your external force should come into play.

Oh I see, my set up seems like: http://www.practicalphysics.org/go/Experiment_480.html [Broken]
and move the weight (bob) to a height so that the attached thread is taut and makes an angle of 10° with the vertical.
counting the time for 20 completed oscillation.
draw a period square against length graph to find the slope and then the value of gravity

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D H
Staff Emeritus
What did you expect to see, and what did you see? What are the relevant equations here?

I want to expect to see the graph is pass through the origin as T=2π* root(L/g),
My result is here
Pendulum length/ m 1.5 1.25 1 0.75 0.5
Average t 49.71 45.315 40.58 35.34 29.20
(Period)2 T2/s2 6.179 5.134 4.117 3.122 2.132

But the graph didn't pass the origin.

Well that is the difference between theory and experiment. Have you calculated the value for g you get?

Then you can try to find reasons for why you are getting an offset. And try thinking a bit yourself and do not blindly copy answers from somewhere else.

no, all my classmates did the same result, I don't know why and I can't explain it.

All got exactly the same result for the slope and the offset?

The answers you posted in your original post obviously come from some other similar experiment and you copied them before thinking if they are relevant.

No, I mean my classmates plot the graph are also cannot pass through the origin.
One important thing is I cannot copy because this is for public exam.
The gravity I find is about 9.755.
And I just want to know the explanation.

Well if your classmates use the same data there is no wonder they get the same result as you do.
So did you really do the experiment or are you just given the data?

Let's start with the possible explanations you gave in your first post. Could one of them be a solution? Which are relevant at all?

Is that due to the natural frequency and hence the period exist when the length is zero.

What is natural frequency? Mind: Your plot would indicate a negative frequency at zero length. Seems a bit unrealistic.

Did you calculate or plot the variance of your data?

when length is 05.m, period square is 2.132
when length is 1.5m, period square is 6.179
slope is 4.047 positive

Hm. you have five data points and use 2 to calculate your slope? You either have to calculate it using all points (e.g. excel can do that) or read of the slope from the graph you plotted. Just taking 2 points is not enough.
The reason why you measure for so many points is to get some redundancy and statistics. Maybe your points are spread so far that there is not "unique" way to draw the line. Then an offset will not be a problem.

And the answer to my last post?

According to my textbook, it says
a simple pendulum will oscillate at a frequency known as its natural frequency (f).
This depends on it length.
equation: f=1/(2π)root(g/L) but now L is zero.....

So it will not oscillate at all. What value of period do you read of for L=0 from your plot?

That is a bit too large, but you will still get a result that is to big including your confidence interval. Then we have to search for some systematics, what went wrong during your "experiment".

I got another problem, when I put g=9.81 into the equation to find period square and plot a graph. It still cannot pass the origin.

What do you mean? If you give yourself the length and g you can plot a perfect graph through the origin. It will not lie on your data points though.

From the looks of it, whoever gave you the data tweaked it, such that it shows a systematic error. The statistics on the data points is too good.

systematic error? do you mean the length of my meter ruler is wrong mark. But this is bizarre, it is too large.

maybe air resistance?

What impact does a wrong ruler have? What does air resistance do? Try to answer these questions first.

if the ruler reading switched, all the length measured are also switched. By the equation, T square=4πsqure(L/g), if L get greater, the graph will switch upward.
if the air resistance exist, the period will get larger, by T=2πroot(L/g),the graph will also switch upward.