simple harmonic motion

Simple harmonic motion is rarely as simple as the lesson title implies. This potentiometer-based sensor measures angles as its core rotates. Attaching a ruler as shown (or hack saw blade) gives to a near-perfect swinging object within seconds. The graphs obtained are awesome. In the absence of a clamp stand, hold it on the table edge.

The initial graph is one of position (or angle) over time and it is produced before your eyes. Seeing this happen and discussing what the troughs and peaks mean is a key to the lesson. Next, get your software to plot the rate of change of position against time – you’ll see velocity over time (shown). Next get your software to plot the rate of change of velocity against time to show acceleration over time. This an excellent result for something achieved so quickly.

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