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Pendulum Definition

A pendulum is a weight on a string that hangs from a single point. It swings and creates a pattern of motion.

View Lesson on Patterns of Motion & Friction
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Patterns of Motion & Friction

Fun Facts

  • If the lengths of pendulum strings is the same, it is predicted that they would swing with the same pattern of motion.
  • Longer pendulum strings swing more slowly.
  • Pendulums swing in the same pattern until friction stops them.

Why Do We Need To Know About Pendulum

Learning about how pendulums swing helps us understand how things move. This is important for people who work in engineering and physics. For example, knowing how pendulums move helps in designing and testing things that move, because it helps predict how they will behave.

This is used in many areas like sports, flying planes, making cars safer, and even in video games. For instance, understanding how slowing down a pendulum’s swing can help make better car tires or fun air hockey tables shows how these ideas are used in real life and different jobs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Explain how the motion of a jump rope creates a predictable pattern.
When Izzy jumps rope, he knows when to jump because the rope moves up, over, down and around him in a repeating pattern.
If a ball is thrown straight up into the air, what do you predict its pattern of motion to be? Why?
We can predict that a ball thrown straight up will fall straight down again because we have likely done it before and noticed a pattern that happens every time.
Explain the relationship between string length and motion for pendulums.
The longer the string length, the slower a pendulum swings. The shorter the string length, the faster a pendulum swings.
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