# Pendulum

Topics: Pendulum, Pendulum clock, Seconds pendulum Pages: 3 (1059 words) Published: December 13, 2012
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Pendulum
This article is about pendulums. For other uses, see Pendulum (disambiguation). "Simple gravity pendulum" model assumes no friction or air resistance.| An animation of a pendulum showing the velocity and acceleration vectors (v and a).| | A pendulum is a weight suspended from a pivot so that it can swing freely. When a pendulum is displaced from its restingequilibrium position, it is subject to a restoring force due to gravity that will accelerate it back toward the equilibrium position. When released, the restoring force combined with the pendulum's mass causes it to oscillate about the equilibrium position, swinging back and forth. The time for one complete cycle, a left swing and a right swing, is called the period. A pendulum swings with a specific period which depends (mainly) on its length. From its discovery around 1602 by Galileo Galilei the regular motion of pendulums was used for timekeeping, and was the world's most accurate timekeeping technology until the 1930s. Pendulums are used to regulate pendulum clocks, and are used in scientific instruments such as accelerometers and seismometers. Historically they were used as gravimeters to measure the acceleration of gravity in geophysical surveys, and even as a standard of length. The word 'pendulum' is new Latin, from the Latin pendulus, meaning 'hanging'. The simple gravity pendulum is an idealized mathematical model of a pendulum. This is a weight (or bob) on the end of a massless cord suspended from a pivot, without friction. When given an initial push, it will swing back and forth at a constantamplitude. Real pendulums are subject to friction and air drag, so the amplitude of their swings declines. The period of swing of a simple gravity pendulum depends on its length, the local strength of gravity, and to a small extent on the maximum angle that the pendulum swings away from...