# Pendulum Period change due to gravitational force change

• Sekonda
In summary, the conversation discusses the effect of adding a large mass on the floor to a clock pendulum and how it affects the period of oscillation. The period of a pendulum is dependent on the length and the acceleration of gravity, and adding a mass on the floor will change the value of g, potentially causing a small change in the period. The suggested approach is to do some rough calculations to determine if the change in period would be detectable with a simple pendulum.
Sekonda
Hey,

I was wondering how to go about a pendulum problem, basically if we have a clock pendulum that oscillates with period 2s unaffected; if we add a large mass on the floor, so that the pendulum experiences some small extra gravitational force towards the floor.

Now I have determined this force and therefore the extra vertical acceleration due to this added floor mass but I now have to determine how this affects the period.

So provided I know the extra vertical acceleration, how do I determine the effect this has on the period?

Thanks guys!

I misread the problem. Comment deleted.

Last edited:
The period of a pendulum for small oscillation is

P = 2*pi*sqrt(l/g)

where l is pendulum length and g is acceleration of gravity.

So based on the fact that the length doesn't change it is safe to assume that period is inversely proportional to the square root of the acceleration and so it's just a case of using the new acceleration and the initial 'g' acceleration to find the difference in the periods.

I think this is most probably the way to go about the problem; though correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks for the help!
S

I suggest you do a few rough calculations first.Think of the largest mass you could concievably put on the floor,work out how this would change the value of g and then work out whether a simple pendulum would be sensitive enough to detect the extremely small change of time period that this added mass would bring about.

Ahh I've only just seen your comment Dadface, clever idea; I "think" I've got the problem solved so I'll try doing that to see if my answer is reasonable.

Thanks,
S

## 1. What is a pendulum?

A pendulum is a weight suspended from a pivot point that can freely swing back and forth under the influence of gravity.

## 2. How does the period of a pendulum change due to gravitational force change?

The period of a pendulum is directly proportional to the square root of the length of the pendulum and inversely proportional to the square root of the acceleration due to gravity. Therefore, any change in the gravitational force will affect the period of a pendulum.

## 3. Can the period of a pendulum be affected by changes in the Earth's gravitational force?

Yes, the period of a pendulum can be affected by changes in the Earth's gravitational force. This can occur due to factors such as changes in altitude or latitude.

## 4. How does the period of a pendulum change on other planets?

The period of a pendulum will vary on other planets due to the differences in gravitational force. For example, on a planet with a stronger gravitational force, the pendulum will have a shorter period compared to a planet with a weaker gravitational force.

## 5. What is the significance of studying the period of a pendulum in relation to gravitational force change?

Studying the period of a pendulum in relation to gravitational force change can help us understand the concept of gravity and its effects on objects. It also has practical applications, such as in the design of pendulum clocks and the measurement of the Earth's gravitational field.

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