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Homework Help: Time period questions

  1. Oct 8, 2007 #1
    Here is the question:

    Gently displace the mass and release it so that it performs vertical oscillations. Make measurements to determine the period T of the oscillations.

    So here is what I did:
    Time for 20 oscillations = t1 (2 d.p)
    Time for another 20 oscillations = t2 (2 d.p)

    Average time for 20 oscillations = (t1 + t2)/2 (2 d.p)

    Time for one oscillation, T = { (t1 + t2)/2 } / 20 ---> this is your answer correct to 1 decimal place.

    Right. Next question:

    Estimate the number of oscillations that would need to be timed in order to make the percentage uncertainty in T equal to 1%. Show your working.

    Let error in one reading be x

    So we use the formula:

    2x/T = 0.01
    where T = { (t1 + t2)/2 } / N (N is the number of oscillations).

    We use the above formula to find out N.

    Here are my concerns:
    Is the working above correct for the two questions?
    What on Earth is the error in timers? (for protractors it is 1deg; for rulers it is 1mm).

    Thanks friends.
    I am getting that heartpounding, gutwrenching, vomit inducing exam jitters right about now. Exam is only a few days away.

    I am not new to the forums here - I have been an avid view for some time now.
    Thanks for all your help guys!
  2. jcsd
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