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ERIC Number: EJ858695
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-0031-9120
A Simple, Low-Cost, Data-Logging Pendulum Built from a Computer Mouse
Gintautas, Vadas; Hubler, Alfred
Physics Education, v44 n5 p488-491 Sep 2009
Lessons and homework problems involving a pendulum are often a big part of introductory physics classes and laboratory courses from high school to undergraduate levels. Although laboratory equipment for pendulum experiments is commercially available, it is often expensive and may not be affordable for teachers on fixed budgets, particularly in developing countries. We present a low-cost, easy-to-build rotary sensor pendulum using the existing hardware in a ball-type computer mouse. We demonstrate how this apparatus may be used to measure both the frequency and coefficient of damping of a simple physical pendulum. This easily constructed laboratory equipment makes it possible for all students to have hands-on experience with one of the most important simple physical systems. (Contains 5 footnotes and 3 figures.)
Institute of Physics Publishing. The Public Ledger Building Suite 929, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 215-627-0880; Fax: 215-627-0879; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: Students; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A