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Q & A: Tension in conical pendulum

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Most recent answer: 08/22/2015
In a conical pendulum, the bob is rotated with different angular velocities (horizontally) and tension in the string is calculated for different values of omega. What is the correct graph between T & omega?
- Sameem Ali (age 18+)
Kolkata, West Bengal, India

I think the given data are not sufficient to find a one to one relation (mass, rope length and radius needed), but maybe we can follow the experimental approach. Tension (T) will be balancing two forces: the gravity of the bob (mg) downwards and centrifugal force radially outwards (mw2r). As both components are always perpendicular, T2 = m2g2 + m2r2w4. So that means, if you draw T2 with respect to w4, you would ideally have a line (y = a + bx). Knowing the universal constant g, you can compute the mass of the bob from y ─▒ntercept (a). From the slope (b) you can now also find the radius of the circle traced by the bob.


(published on 08/22/2015)

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