PHSX 104 Michigan State University The Simple Pendulum Lab Report


Exercise #6: The Simple Pendulum
In this exercise you will study the behavior of a simple pendulum, a single small mass
swinging back and forth on a string under its own weight. You will measure the period of the
pendulum, which is the amount of time it takes for the pendulum to move back and forth in one
complete motion. You will determine what effect changing one property of the pendulum (the
mass at the end of the string, the angle at which it swings, and the length of the pendulum
respectively) has on the period while holding all other factors constant. This will give you some
experience with the experimental technique of “variables vs. controls”. You will compare the
results of each part of the lab against what the physical theory explaining the motion of
pendulums predicted. You will also use the results of the last part of the exercise to
experimentally derive the value of free-fall acceleration .