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ERIC Number: EJ924777
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Aug
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-0926-7220
The Pendulum: From Constrained Fall to the Concept of Potential
Bevilacqua, Fabio; Falomo, Lidia; Fregonese, Lucio; Giannetto, Enrico; Giudice, Franco; Mascheretti, Paolo
Science & Education, v15 n6 p553-575 Aug 2006
Kuhn underlined the relevance of Galileo's gestalt switch in the interpretation of a swinging body from constrained fall to time metre. But the new interpretation did not eliminate the older one. The constrained fall, both in the motion of pendulums and along inclined planes, led Galileo to the law of free fall. Experimenting with physical pendulums and assuming the impossibility of perpetual motion Huygens obtained a law of conservation of "vis viva" at specific positions, beautifully commented by Mach. Daniel Bernoulli generalised Huygens results introducing the concept of potential and the related independence of the "work" done from the trajectories (paths) followed: "vis viva" conservation at specific positions is now linked with the potential. Feynman's modern way of teaching the subject shows striking similarities with Bernoulli's approach. A number of animations and simulations can help to visualise and teach some of the pendulum's interpretations related to what we now see as instances of energy conservation.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A