What is the correct frame of reference for calculating velocity of a pendulum?

In summary, the conversation discusses finding the velocity of a pendulum at various points around its course. The equation initially provided is incorrect and a new equation is proposed using the law of conservation of energy. The correct formula is given and the conversation ends with the issue being resolved with the help of the person and their physics teacher.
  • #1
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Homework Statement


Have to find the velocity of a pendulum at various points around it's course.
r is 4.2 m
g = 9.81
Angle changes


Homework Equations


Ok, so i went looking for an equation and found this.
v = root 2gr(1-cosX)


The Attempt at a Solution


I pretty much plotted the above equation in y = on a TI calc, whereas X was the angle. I have results - Except I'm worried about the frame of reference. The website i found the equation gave a frame of reference. But I'm concerned that this is wrong. Could someone point me in the right direction please? Thanks

The results where as follows;

45 degrees = 4.9
90 = 5.1
135 = 11.9
180 = 12.8

These results work if the angle is taken fat the top of the semicircle - Where the velocity increases as it falls towards the earth. But the FOR that was given, it suggested that the angle be taken as the bob is motionless down the bottom and taken left to right. Help?
 
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  • #2
The equation is wrong, firstly because it is dimensionally incorrect. The dimensions of the RHS do not match the dimensions of the LHS. Secondly, if you take the pendulum to a height 'h' and then release it, it is a very simple observation that, the speed at any point will be higher if 'h' is made higher. But, the equation above does not include any term of the initial height. Also, at an height equal to the maximum height of the oscillating pendulum i.e. at it's amplitude, the velocity should be zero. The given formula does not account for it.

A formula for the velocity can be easily derived, and I'd like you to try that. Use the law of conservation of energy and apply it to the case when the bob is at it's highest point and then to a arbitrary point [Basically, Gravitational Potential Energy is manifested as Kinetic Energy].

The formula I came at was:

[tex]
v = \sqrt{\frac{2gl}{m} (\cos(\theta) - \cos(\theta_o))}
[/tex]

here, 'l' is the length of the string and [itex]\theta_o[/itex] is the angle made when the pendulum is at it's highest.
 
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  • #3
That you very much. I cleared up any problems with help from you and my physics teacher. Cheers
 

1. What is the formula for the velocity of a pendulum?

The formula for the velocity of a pendulum is v = √(gL(1-cosθ)), where v is the velocity, g is the acceleration due to gravity, L is the length of the pendulum, and θ is the angle of the pendulum swing.

2. How does the length of a pendulum affect its velocity?

The length of a pendulum has a direct effect on its velocity. The longer the pendulum, the slower the velocity, and the shorter the pendulum, the faster the velocity. This is because a longer pendulum has a longer distance to travel in the same amount of time, resulting in a slower velocity.

3. Does the mass of the pendulum affect its velocity?

The mass of the pendulum does not affect its velocity. The velocity of a pendulum is determined by the length of the pendulum and the angle of the swing, not the mass.

4. How does the angle of the swing affect the velocity of a pendulum?

The angle of the swing has a direct effect on the velocity of a pendulum. The higher the angle, the faster the velocity, and the lower the angle, the slower the velocity. This is because a higher angle results in a longer distance to travel in the same amount of time.

5. Can the velocity of a pendulum be greater than the speed of light?

No, the velocity of a pendulum cannot be greater than the speed of light. The speed of light is the maximum speed at which anything in the universe can travel, and the velocity of a pendulum is limited by the acceleration due to gravity and the length of the pendulum.

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