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Homework Help: Pendulum hitting a face

  1. Oct 9, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    When I release a large pendulum from about my eye level, why does it not return and hit my face?

    2. Relevant equations
    PE=mgh and KE= 1/2mv^2 possibly?

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I was thinking that it had something to do with a transfer of potential energy to kinetic energy, with the kinetic energy getting smaller in each swing.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 9, 2011 #2
    Based on what I was taught in my physics class, my guess is your teacher is looking for an answer somewhat along the lines of: "Because Kinetic Energy is transferred via friction to the air the pendulum is moving through therefore on its return swing it does not have as much Energy as it had when released."

    However I'm not sure that's what you are discussing in your class.
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