HOME- the OLD Flat-Earth-Academy homepage... FEA is in the process of moving to WYWTK (See note at bottom)
Sub-index for science and engineering topics


Is what the text book says right?
Did I control my experiment?

(Page's URL: billy_pendulum.htm)

This is a "placeholder". I hope to take it further. But it IS "complete" already. However, more could be said.

I had the chance to set up a pendulum in a very tall spiral staircase.

My pendulum was 16.3 meters long, if I measured it correctly.

It took about 8 seconds to swing back and forth.

IF my measurements were right. IF the theories are right, there are sums you can do to work out the swing frequency from the pendulum length, or the pendulum length from the swing frequency.

Many, MANY other people have tried the experiment, and the formulae do seem to be correct. So if 16.3m and 8 seconds don't match, where did I go wrong? What did I fail to allow for?

Whether 16.3 and 8 seconds are "right" is NOT the reason for doing this. The reason for doing it is to inspire THINKING about what went on, where mistakes might have blemished the results. HOW the tests could be made best.

As I said... this page is barely started. I will give more detail if any interest is shown.

The next thing to go into this will be a description of the mathematical rules that let you figure out what I said you can.

Then the details of my "experiment" will be added.

"Experiment" is what schools tend to call what I did. It wasn't really "an experiment". It was just a measurement. I wanted to see how a particular pendulum behaved, so that I could see if it obeyed "the rules".

If it "didn't" it only meant that I hadn't allowed for something. We "know" the "rules" are right. Could I figure out what I did that made my pendulum... or my measurements... "wrong"?

And then there were various challenges which I can write about. What to use for the pendulum? Did it matter? What difference would it make? How could I do it without annoying the building's owners? (I'm afraid I used the "better to ask forgiveness if caught, than for permission which might be denied" policy. Tsk.) (It didn't seem I annoyed anyone, but I did what I could to avoid notice. A bit like Micheal trying to sneak out of a boxing lesson.)

In theory, science is "simple". In fact FINDING the "simple" explanations, patterns, behind complicated things is the POINT of science. But doing science (and engineering) is sometimes more complicated than the simple underlying principles would make you think it would be.

((image billy_pen_Stair_pcsm20220727_1345.jpg))

Next section getting an edit. Apolgies for the mess the current hasty start has made of it

If it hadn't been for someone doing its wonderful production of the something, , I would never had been in the place with the perfect- for- this spiral staircase!

So thank you, all you who made that production happen. I've enjoyed doing this pendulum experiment. But not nearly as much as I've enjoyed seeing your production.

The people in the central role did a fabulous job. And your director did a fabulous job of adapting the show for the place's circumstances.

I know you know that without all the others... on stage and off... your efforts would have meant nothing. But the show is named for your character, and I wanted to thank someone, if only as representatives of everyone, for the wonderful time I had watching all the different shows that arose from your different strengths.

Each of you was "the best"... in one department or another. Who was best overall? Is steak or ice cream "best overall"? They're BOTH great. "The overall best" is sort of a silly concept, when you think about it, isn't it.

And the pendulum thing was, for me, a nice bonus. I hope you'll find it amusing, and another memory for you, if you know where the stairwell is.

A few words from the sponsors...

If you found this of interest, please mention in forums, give it a Facebook "like", or whatever. If you want more of this stuff: help!? There's not much point in me writing these things, if no one hears about them. Does anyone feel they are of any use? If YOU do- please spread the word!

Search across several of my sites at once with a Google search button.

Custom Search



index sitemap
What's New at the Site Advanced search
Search tool (free) provided by FreeFind... whom I've used since 2002. Happy with it, obviously!

Unlike the clever Google search engine, this one merely looks for the words you type, so....
*    Spell them properly.
*    Don't bother with "How do I get rich?" That will merely return pages with "how", "do", "I"....

Please also note that I have three other sites, and that this search will not include them. They have their own search buttons.

My SheepdogSoftware.co.uk site, where you'll find my main homepage. It has links for other areas, such as education, programming, investing.

My SheepdogGuides.com site.

My site at Arunet.

What's up? Is this WYWTK.com or is it Flat-Earth-Academy.com?

It's both! Flat-Earth-Academy.com is something I started years ago. For a variety of reasons, I can't offer you httpS:// access there. (As you are not asked to input any information, that's moot, but it "worries" search engines.) So I'm moving to my new, all singing, and will do the httpS:// dance site, "WYWTK.com", and Flat-Earth-Academy is gradually acquiring pages there. (Well, HERE, as what you are reading is one of my "wywtk/fea" pages.)

Why "WYWTK"? It comes from "What You Want To Know".

How to email or write this page's editor, Tom Boyd. If you write, please cite page's URL: wywtk.com/ec/sci/phys/billy_pendulum.htm... or at least the last part of that!

Test for valid HTML Page has been tested for compliance with INDUSTRY (not MS-only) standards, using the free, publicly accessible validator at validator.w3.org. It passes in some important ways, but still needs work to fully meet HTML 5 expectations. (If your browser hides your history, you may have to put the page's URL into the validator by hand. Check what page the validator looked at before becoming alarmed by a "not found" or "wrong doctype".)

AND tested for  Test for valid CSS

One last bit of advice: Be sure you know all you need to about spyware.

. . . . . P a g e . . . E n d s . . . . .