A torsion pendulum is the horizontal twisting of some suspeneded "bob" first to one side, then the other, as it hangs from a vertical support. Review the Torsion Pendulum Experiment at the University of Toronto to see some of the factors involved.
Our goal in this experiement is to come up with a formula for the behavior of the pendulum as it depends on the mass. As we vary the mass and its diameter, does the period vary directly? inversely? by some power -- the square or square root?
You will need to duplicate to some extent the apparatus shown in the University of Toronto summary.
You need at least two objects of each type, which differ either in dimension or mass. For example, if you test a disk, you should have two disks of the same radius but different masses, or two disks of the same mass but different radii. The point is to figure out whether the radius of the disk or the mass of the disk (or both!) affects the period of the pendulum.
Your report should include a description of your equipment and methods, your data table, and your determination of the factors on which the period of the torsion pendulum depends.
© 2005 - 2018 This course is offered through Scholars Online, a non-profit organization supporting classical Christian education through online courses. Permission to copy course content (lessons and labs) for personal study is granted to students currently or formerly enrolled in the course through Scholars Online. Reproduction for any other purpose, without the express written consent of the author, is prohibited.