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ERIC Number: EJ910004
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Nov
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0926-7220
Using Excel to Simulate Pendulum Motion and Maybe Understand Calculus a Little Better
Fowler, Michael
Science & Education, v13 n7-8 p791-796 Nov 2004
As part of a first-year college Introductory Physics course, I have students construct an Excel[R]: spreadsheet based on the differential equation for pendulum motion (we take a pendulum having a light bar rather than a string, so it can go "over the top"). In extensive discussions with the students, I find that forcing them to make the spreadsheet "themselves", entering velocities as position differences divided by time, etc., leads to a firmer grasp of basic calculus concepts. And, the instant graphical response of the finished product gives a sense of accomplishment as well as a lot of fun while building intuition about pendulum motion.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A