Would a pendulum swing forever in a vacuum?

Asked by: Prof. Cindy Kunze Jr.

In a vacuum with zero air resistance, such a pendulum will continue to oscillate indefinitely with a constant amplitude. However, the amplitude of a simple pendulum oscillating in air continuously decreases as its mechanical energy is gradually lost due to air resistance.

Can a pendulum swing in a vacuum?

Yes, a pendulum will swing in a vacuum. Why not ? The swing period depends on gravity and length. However, the vacuum may affect the bearing - the pivot point the pendulum swings around.

How do pendulums swing forever?

A pendulum works by converting energy back and forth, a bit like a rollercoaster ride. ... If there were no friction or drag (air resistance), a pendulum would keep on moving forever. In reality, each swing sees friction and drag steal a bit more energy from the pendulum and it gradually comes to a halt.

Why does a pendulum stop in a vacuum?

A pendulum at rest on the Earth's surface will be subject to a normal force from the Earth's surface. As the pendulum swings in the vacuum box, the force exerted by the box on the ground increases and decreases, thereby causing vibrations that move into the Earth. This carries away energy from the pendulum.

16 related questions found

What happens to a pendulum in space?

Since there is no gravity in orbit, there is no force that pulls the pendulum down and make it swing back and forth. If you pushed a pendulum in orbit, the bob of the pendulum would keep going in full circles until they stop due to friction. No. An object in orbit is in free fall and therefore appears weightless.

What happens to pendulum in vacuum?

In a vacuum with zero air resistance, such a pendulum will continue to oscillate indefinitely with a constant amplitude. However, the amplitude of a simple pendulum oscillating in air continuously decreases as its mechanical energy is gradually lost due to air resistance.

Why won't the pendulum keep swinging?

Have you recently moved your clock? The reason a clock pendulum often stops swinging, after being moved, is because the clock case now leans at a slightly different angle then it did at its former location. Don't worry about making your clock absolutely level with the floor and don't use a level.

Why do shorter pendulums swing faster?

Why does the angle the pendulum starts at not affect the period? (Answer: Because pendulums that start at a bigger angle have longer to speed up, so they travel faster than pendulums that start at a small angle.)

Why does my pendulum not stop swinging?

When it swings to its lowest point, that potential energy is now kinetic energy, which then swings up and converts back to potential energy. This happens repeatedly. If there were no friction or drag, which steals potential energy, the pendulum would swing forever.

How long will a pendulum swing for?

A pendulum with a length of 1 meter has a period of about 2 seconds (so it takes about 1 second to swing across an arc). This means that there is a relationship between the gravitational field (g) and Pi.

Can things move in vacuum?

it is ideally not possible moving in a vacuum or inside a space made of vacuum, for vacuum is an enclosed space where there is no object and pressure is zero; presence your body except your mind inside it will clash with the basic requirements of vacuum.

Will things move forever in space?

Now, the answer to your question: Yes, it will eventually stop, because gravity does not cease to exist in space, as derived by the formula for gravity, which employs two values, the Mass of the object and the Distance of the measurable object from another object.

Why does a pendulum eventually slow down and stop swinging?

When the swing is raised and released, it will move freely back and forth due to the force of gravity on it. The swing continues moving back and forth without any extra outside help until friction (between the air and the swing and between the chains and the attachment points) slows it down and eventually stops it.

Where does energy go when a pendulum stops swinging?

When the pendulum stops briefly at the top of its swing, the kinetic energy is zero, and all the energy of the system is in potential energy. When the pendulum swings back down, the potential energy is converted back into kinetic energy. The truly conserved quantity is the sum of kinetic, potential, and thermal energy.

When a pendulum swings at which point is potential energy highest?

So potential energy would be highest when the pendulum is at its highest point on either side of its motion where it is stationary for an instant. This is the point where all kinetic energy has been converted to potential energy ( Ek=0 since v=0 ).

Do heavier pendulums swing faster?

That's why these pendulums behave the way they do. When you add a weight to the bottom of the pendulum on the right, you make it heavier. ... Shorter pendulums swing faster than longer ones do, so the pendulum on the left swings faster than the pendulum on the right.

What affects the swing rate of a pendulum?

(Mass does not affect the pendulum's swing. The longer the length of string, the farther the pendulum falls; and therefore, the longer the period, or back and forth swing of the pendulum. The greater the amplitude, or angle, the farther the pendulum falls; and therefore, the longer the period.)

Does a shorter or longer pendulum swing faster?

The longer the pendulum, whether it is a string, metal rod or wire, the slower the pendulum swings. Conversely the shorter the pendulum the faster the swing rate. ... On grandfather clocks with long pendulums or clocks with shorter ones, the swing rate depends upon the pendulum's length.

What happened to the pendulum when you pull and release the bob?

When a pendulum bob is pulled back and released from rest, the force of gravity does positive work on the bob as it swings down. ... In fact, the bob swings back up to the same height as the release height, so the negative work by gravity on the upswing is the same size as the positive work by gravity on the downswing.

How do you adjust a pendulum clock?

Regulating the clock — Pendulum Nut:

The clock can be made to go faster or slower by means of the nut at the bottom of the pendulum. Turning the front of the nut to the right speeds up the clock, and turning it to the left slows it down (in other words move the nut up to speed up, or down to slow down).

What will be the effect on the motion of a pendulum if it is oscillating in vacuum?

Assuming the pendulum is subject to the vacuum of space, it will not swing. There is no gravity acting on the pendulum to achieve harmonic motion.

How do you use a pendulum for yes or no answers?

Here's an example of how to program the "yes" signal: Holding the pendulum in position, say “When I ask a question and the answer is yes, move like this, in a clockwise circle.” (or whatever signal you've chose for "yes"). Say this as you swing the pendulum in the yes signal.

How can you reduce the friction of a pendulum?

The friction was reduced significantly by wrapping the rod with Teflon paper at the position of support. The motion became smooth with the use of Teflon paper. A heavy spherical mass (approximately 1.6 kilogram) was tied to one end of a string and the other end was attached to the hook of the force probe.