A playground is a wonderful physics laboratory. A swing is a great example of a pendulum.
1. A weight called a bob
2. A supporting material, such as string, rope, chain, or a rod. This material must be able to swing freely-move back and forth
In the photo, the swing is the simple pendulum.
1. The bob is the swing seat.
2. The supporting material are the two attached chains.
You can use a playground swing to play and learn about pendulums.
Discover for Yourself!
1. Does the weight of the “bob” affect how fast the swing moves?
Discover this by swinging children that have different weights. See how long it takes for each child to make 5 swings. Be sure everything is the same for each child–pull the swing back and release it instead of pushing.
2. What affect does the height the swing is pulled to one side have on the number of swings?
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