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Oscillations Experiments for Classical Mechanics
written by Deva O'Neil
sub author: Dr. Susan Lehman
This document guides students through two experiments developed for an intermediate Classical Mechanics course.

1. Undamped pendulum (employs a small weight attached to a long string)-  developed to address student difficulties with simple harmonic motion. In assessing student learning at Bridgewater College and College of Wooster, we found that students struggled to use energy conservation reasoning appropriately, and made errors in interpreting the role of an initial push on the subsequent motion of a pendulum. The experiment targets these learning obstacles. The experiment is simple to set up and does not require a lab room - just a surface suitable for mounting a simple pendulum.

2. Damped pendulum - requires setting up a pendulum that leaks a sand trail. Requires a lab room or other area with flat tables.

The materials required are small weights, a horizontal bar mounted above a desk, sand or coarse cornmeal, rulers, stopwatches, protractors, and common household materials (tape, paper, string).
This non-digital resource is not presently available online.
Subjects Lab Level Resource Types
Oscillations & Waves
- Oscillations
= Damped Oscillators
= Pendula
= Simple Harmonic Motion
= Springs and Oscillators
- Intermediate Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Laboratory
Material Category Formats Ratings
- Lab Manual
- application/zip
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Safety Warnings
Advanced Labs Terms of Use Disclaimer Minimal Danger   No Safety Equipment Necessary  

Access Rights:
Free access
Does not have a copyright, license, or other use restriction.
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created August 17, 2017 by Deva O'Neil
Record Updated:
August 22, 2017 by Ramon Torres-Isea
Last Update
when Cataloged:
August 17, 2017
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Record Link
AIP Format
D. O'Neil, (2017), WWW Document, (
D. O'Neil, Oscillations Experiments for Classical Mechanics, (2017), <>.
APA Format
O'Neil, D. (2017, August 17). Oscillations Experiments for Classical Mechanics. Retrieved September 23, 2017, from
Chicago Format
O'Neil, Deva. Oscillations Experiments for Classical Mechanics. August 17, 2017. (accessed 23 September 2017).
MLA Format
O'Neil, Deva. Oscillations Experiments for Classical Mechanics. 2017. 17 Aug. 2017. 23 Sep. 2017 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Deva O'Neil", Title = {Oscillations Experiments for Classical Mechanics}, Volume = {2017}, Number = {23 September 2017}, Month = {August 17, 2017}, Year = {2017} }
Refer Export Format

%A Deva O'Neil
%T Oscillations Experiments for Classical Mechanics
%D August 17, 2017
%O application/zip

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A O'Neil, Deva
%D August 17, 2017
%T Oscillations Experiments for Classical Mechanics
%V 2017
%N 23 September 2017
%8 August 17, 2017
%9 application/zip

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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

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