1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Oscillation Period in a Lighthouse?

  1. Dec 17, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A visitor to a lighthouse wishes to determine the height of the tower. She ties a spool of thread to a small rock to make a simple pendulum, which she hangs down the center of a spiral staircase of the tower. The period of oscillation is 10.4 s. The acceleration of gravity is 9.8 m/s^2.
    What is the height of the tower?
    Answer in units of m.


    2. Relevant equations

    Ug=mgh
    K=1/2mv^2
    Fc=[tex]V^2m/r[/tex]

    3. The attempt at a solution

    So, I'm pretty much taking a stab at the dark as this is one of the last questions on my Newtonian mechanics final and my teacher has never and refuses to explain oscillation period. Go figure. Is it the time it takes for the object to move from its initial position and back to the same point again?

    Anyway, I guess what you would do is use the law of conservation of mechanical energy or some kinematic equation, perhaps one of the circular counterparts, and use the time given to determine the velocity, then use that to solve for the radius with the centripetal force equation? I'm pretty lost overall, so any help is much appreciated.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 17, 2009 #2

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I believe there is a pretty simple pendulum equation that you can use. Try searching at wikipedia.org for pendulum. Hopefully they also have a derivation of the equation there as well.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Oscillation Period in a Lighthouse?
  1. Period of Oscillation (Replies: 3)

  2. Period of oscillation (Replies: 8)

  3. Period of oscillation (Replies: 3)

Loading...