Silly physics...

James Cozine jmcozine at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 12 20:49:38 PST 2003


steveb at creek-and-cowley.com (Steve Bougerolle) writes:

> On Thu, 2003-02-13 at 05:49, James Cozine wrote:
>
>> I did a lab in high school where one determines the acceleration due
>> to gravity by swinging a pendulum.  The result should have been 9.8
>> m/s^2, but we got 8.8 m/s^2.  I still don't know what we did wrong.
>
> The short answer is probably "you did it in high school." :)

I know, I know ;)

> That particular experiment usually has quite large uncertainties
> attached to it, actually - especially if you aren't careful about it.

It's a simple equation, with three variables:

        T = 2 pi sqrt[L/g]

L is the length, known prior to the experiment, and T is the period,
the whole point of the experiment.  Just solve for g.  

The length is pretty hard to get wrong.  It was determining the
period that was fscked up.  The ``laser'' was probably aimed wrong,
or something.  It was years ago.  I'm just sorry I lost the report;
it proved that place was possessed ;)

(Not that this adds to the discussion; I just like this thread much
than the other recent ones.)

-jc
-- 
QOTD:
	 "It's not the despair... I can stand the despair.  It's the hope."
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