# Chapter 24 Physical Pendulum

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1 Chapter 4 Physical Pendulum 4.1 Introduction Simple Pendulum: Torque Approach Physical Pendulum Worked Examples... 4 Example 4.1 Oscillating Rod... 4 Example 4.3 Torsional Oscillator... 7 Example 4.4 Compound Physical Pendulum... 9 Appendix 4A Higher-Order Corrections to the Period for Larger Amplitudes of a Simple Pendulum... 1

2 Chapter 4 Physical Pendulum. I had along with me.the Descriptions, with some Drawings of the principal Parts of the Pendulum-Clock which I had made, and as also of them of my then intended Timekeeper for the Longitude at Sea Introduction John Harrison We have already used Newton s Second Law or Conservation of Energy to analyze systems like the spring-object system that oscillate. We shall now use torque and the rotational equation of motion to study oscillating systems like pendulums and torsional springs Simple Pendulum: Torque Approach Recall the simple pendulum from Chapter The coordinate system and force diagram for the simple pendulum is shown in Figure 4.1. (a) (b) Figure 4.1 (a) Coordinate system and (b) torque diagram for simple pendulum The torque about the pivot point P is given by τ P = r P, m m g = l ˆr m g(cosθ ˆr sinθ ˆθ) = l m g sinθ ˆk (4.1.1) The z -component of the torque about point P (τ P ) z = mgl sinθ. (4.1.) 1 J. Harrison, A Description Concerning Such Mechanisms as will Afford a Nice, or True Mensuration of Time; (London, 1775), p

3 When θ > 0, (τ P ) z < 0 and the torque about P is directed in the negative ˆk -direction (into the plane of Figure 4.1b) when θ < 0, (τ P ) z > 0 and the torque about P is directed in the positive ˆk -direction (out of the plane of Figure 4.1b). The moment of inertia of a point mass about the pivot point P is I P = ml. The rotational equation of motion is then Thus we have (τ P ) z = I P α z I P d θ dt mgl sinθ = ml d θ dt. (4.1.3) d θ g = sinθ, (4.1.4) dt l agreeing with Eq When the angle of oscillation is small, we may use the small angle approximation sinθ θ, (4.1.5) and Eq. (4.1.4) reduces to the simple harmonic oscillator equation d θ g θ. (4.1.6) dt l We have already studied the solutions to this equation in Chapter 3.3. A procedure for determining the period when the small angle approximation does not hold is given in Appendix 4A. 4. Physical Pendulum A physical pendulum consists of a rigid body that undergoes fixed axis rotation about a fixed point S (Figure 4.). Figure 4. Physical pendulum 4-

4 The gravitational force acts at the center of mass of the physical pendulum. Denote the distance of the center of mass to the pivot point S by l cm. The torque analysis is nearly identical to the simple pendulum. The torque about the pivot point S is given by τ S = r S,cm m g = l cmˆr m g(cosθ ˆr sinθ ˆθ) = l cm m g sinθ ˆk. (4..1) Following the same steps that led from Equation (4.1.1) to Equation (4.1.4), the rotational equation for the physical pendulum is mgl cm sinθ = I S d θ dt, (4..) where I S the moment of inertia about the pivot point S. As with the simple pendulum, for small angles sinθ θ, Equation (4..) reduces to the simple harmonic oscillator equation d θ dt mgl cm θ. (4..3) I S The equation for the angle θ(t) is given by where the angular frequency is given by θ(t) = Acos( t) + Bsin( t), (4..4) and the period is T = π π mg l cm I S (physical pendulum), (4..5) I S mg l cm (physical pendulum). (4..6) Substitute the parallel axis theorem, I S = ml cm + I cm, into Eq. (4..6) with the result that T π l cm g + I cm (physical pendulum). (4..7) mg l cm Thus, if the object is small in the sense that I cm << ml cm, the expressions for the physical pendulum reduce to those for the simple pendulum. The z -component of the angular velocity is given by 4-3

5 ω z (t) = dθ dt (t) = ω Asin(ω t) + ω Bcos(ω t). (4..8) The coefficients A and B can be determined form the initial conditions by setting t = 0 in Eqs. (4..4) and (4..8) resulting in the conditions that A = θ(t = 0) θ 0 B = ω (t = 0) z ω z,0. (4..9) Therefore the equations for the angle θ(t) and ω z (t) = dθ (t) are given by dt 4.3 Worked Examples Example 4.1 Oscillating Rod θ(t) = θ 0 cos( t) + ω z,0 sin( t), (4..10) ω z (t) = dθ dt (t) = ω θ sin(ω t) + ω cos(ω t). (4..11) z,0 0 A physical pendulum consists of a uniform rod of length d and mass m pivoted at one end. The pendulum is initially displaced to one side by a small angle θ 0 and released from rest with θ 0 << 1. Find the period of the pendulum. Determine the period of the pendulum using (a) the torque method and (b) the energy method. Figure 4.3 Oscillating rod (a) Torque Method: with our choice of rotational coordinate system the angular acceleration is given by 4-4

6 α = d θ dt ˆk. (4.3.1) The force diagram on the pendulum is shown in Figure 4.4. In particular, there is an unknown pivot force and the gravitational force acts at the center of mass of the rod. Figure 4.4 Free-body force diagram on rod The torque about the pivot point P is given by τ P = r P,cm m g. (4.3.) The rod is uniform, therefore the center of mass is a distance d / from the pivot point. The gravitational force acts at the center of mass, so the torque about the pivot point P is given by τ P = (d / )ˆr mg( sinθ ˆθ + cos ˆr) = (d / )mg sinθ ˆk. (4.3.3) The rotational equation of motion about P is then Substituting Eqs. (4.3.3) and (4.3.1) into Eq. (4.3.4) yields τ P = I P α. (4.3.4) (d / )mg sinθ ˆk = I P d θ dt ˆk. (4.3.5) When the angle of oscillation is small, we may use the small angle approximation sinθ θ, then Eq. (4.3.5) becomes 4-5

7 d θ dt (d / )mg + θ 0, (4.3.6) I P which is a simple harmonic oscillator equation. The angular frequency of small oscillations for the pendulum is (d / )mg. (4.3.7) I P The moment of inertia of a rod about the end point P is I P = (1/ 3)md angular frequency is with period (d / )mg (3/ )g = (1/ 3)md d therefore the (4.3.8) T = π π d 3 g. (4.3.9) (b) Energy Method: Take the zero point of gravitational potential energy to be the point where the center of mass of the pendulum is at its lowest point (Figure 4.5), that is, θ = 0. Figure 4.5 Energy diagram for rod When the pendulum is at an angle θ the potential energy is U = mg d (1 cosθ). (4.3.10) The kinetic energy of rotation about the pivot point is 4-6

8 K rot = 1 I p ω z. (4.3.11) The mechanical energy is then E = U + K rot = mg d ( 1 cosθ ) + 1 I ω z, (4.3.1) p with I P = (1/ 3) md. There are no non-conservative forces acting (by assumption), so the mechanical energy is constant, and therefore the time derivative of energy is zero, 0 = de dt = mg d dθ sinθ dt + I ω dω z p z dt. (4.3.13) Recall that ω z = dθ / dt and α z = dω z / dt = d θ / dt, so Eq. (4.3.13) becomes 0 = ω z mg d sinθ + I d θ p dt. (4.3.14) There are two solutions, ω z = 0, in which case the rod remains at the bottom of the swing, 0 = mg d sinθ + I d θ p dt. (4.3.15) Using the small angle approximation, we obtain the simple harmonic oscillator equation (Eq. (4.3.6)) d θ m g(d / ) + θ 0. (4.3.16) dt I p Example 4.3 Torsional Oscillator A disk with moment of inertia about the center of mass I cm rotates in a horizontal plane. It is suspended by a thin, massless rod. If the disk is rotated away from its equilibrium position by an angle θ, the rod exerts a restoring torque about the center of the disk with magnitude given by τ cm = bθ (Figure 4.6), where b is a positive constant. At t = 0, the disk is released from rest at an angular displacement of θ 0. Find the subsequent time dependence of the angular displacement θ ( t). 4-7

9 Figure 4.6 Example 4.3 with exaggerated angle θ Solution: Choose a coordinate system such that ˆk is pointing upwards (Figure 4.6), then the angular acceleration is given by α = d θ dt ˆk. (4.3.17) The torque about the center of mass is given in the statement of the problem as a restoring torque, therefore τ cm = bθ ˆk. (4.3.18) The z -component of the rotational equation of motion is This is a simple harmonic oscillator equation with solution where the angular frequency of oscillation is given by The z -component of the angular velocity is given by bθ = I cm d θ dt. (4.3.19) θ(t) = Acos( t) + Bsin( t) (4.3.0) = b / I cm. (4.3.1) ω z (t) = dθ dt (t) = ω Asin(ω t) + ω Bcos(ω t). (4.3.) The initial conditions at t = 0, are θ ( t = 0) = A = θ0, and (dθ / dt)(t = 0) = B = 0. Therefore θ(t) = θ 0 cos( b / I cm t). (4.3.3) 4-8

10 Example 4.4 Compound Physical Pendulum A compound physical pendulum consists of a disk of radius R and mass m d fixed at the end of a rod of mass m r and length l (Figure 4.7a). (a) Find the period of the pendulum. (b) How does the period change if the disk is mounted to the rod by a frictionless bearing so that it is perfectly free to spin? (a) Figure 4.7 (a) Example 4.4 (b) (b) Free-body force diagram Solution: We begin by choosing coordinates. Let ˆk be normal to the plane of the motion of the pendulum pointing out of the plane of the Figure 4.7b. Choose an angle variable θ such that counterclockwise rotation corresponds to a positive z -component of the angular velocity. Thus a torque that points into the page has a negative z -component and a torque that points out of the page has a positive z -component. The free-body force diagram on the pendulum is also shown in Figure 4.7b. In particular, there is an unknown pivot force, the gravitational force acting at the center of mass of the rod, and the gravitational force acting at the center of mass of the disk. The torque about the pivot point is given by τ P = r P,cm m rg + rp,disk m dg. (4.3.4) Recall that the vector r P,cm points from the pivot point to the center of mass of the rod a distance l / from the pivot. The vector r P,disk points from the pivot point to the center of mass of the disk a distance l from the pivot. Torque diagrams for the gravitational force on the rod and the disk are shown in Figure 4.8. Both torques about the pivot are in the negative ˆk -direction (into the plane of Figure 4.8) and hence have negative z - components, τ P = (m r (l / ) + m d l)g sinθ ˆk. (4.3.5) 4-9

11 (a) (b) Figure 4.8 Torque diagram for (a) center of mass, (b) disk In order to determine the moment of inertia of the rigid compound pendulum we will treat each piece separately, the uniform rod of length d and the disk attached at the end of the rod. The moment of inertia about the pivot point P is the sum of the moments of inertia of the two pieces, I P = I P,rod + I P,disc. (4.3.6) We calculated the moment of inertia of a rod about the end point P (Chapter ), with the result that I P,rod = 1 3 m r l. (4.3.7) We can use the parallel axis theorem to calculate the moment of inertia of the disk about the pivot point P, I P,disc = I cm,disc + m d l. (4.3.8) We calculated the moment of inertia of a disk about the center of mass (Example 16.3) and determined that I cm,disc = 1 m d R. (4.3.9) The moment of inertia of the compound system is then I P = 1 3 m r l + m d l + 1 m d R. (4.3.30) Therefore the rotational equation of motion becomes 4-10

12 ((1/ )m r + m d )gl sinθ ˆk = (((1/ 3)m r + m d )l + (1/ )m d R ) d θ ˆk. (4.3.31) dt When the angle of oscillation is small, we can use the small angle approximation sinθ θ. Then Eq. (4.3.31) becomes a simple harmonic oscillator equation, d θ dt ((1/ )m r + m d )gl ((1/ 3)m r + m d )l + (1/ )m d R θ. (4.3.3) Eq. (4.3.3) describes simple harmonic motion with an angular frequency of oscillation when the disk is fixed in place given by ω fixed = ((1/ )m r + m d )gl ((1/ 3)m r + m d )l + (1/ )m d R. (4.3.33) The period is T fixed = π π ((1/ 3)m + m )l + (1/ )m r d d R ω fixed ((1/ )m r + m d )gl. (4.3.34) (b) If the disk is not fixed to the rod, then it will not rotate about its center of mass as the pendulum oscillates. Therefore the moment of inertia of the disk about its center of mass does not contribute to the moment of inertia of the physical pendulum about the pivot point. Notice that the pendulum is no longer a rigid body. The total moment of inertia is only due to the rod and the disk treated as a point like object, I P = 1 3 m r l + m d l. (4.3.35) Therefore the period of oscillation is given by T free = π ω free π ((1/ 3)m r + m d )l ((1/ )m r + m d )gl. (4.3.36) Comparing Eq. (4.3.36) to Eq. (4.3.34), we see that the period is smaller when the disk is free and not fixed. From an energy perspective we can argue that when the disk is free, it is not rotating about the center of mass. Therefore more of the gravitational potential energy goes into the center of mass translational kinetic energy than when the disk is free. Hence the center of mass is moving faster when the disk is free so it completes one period is a shorter time. 4-11

13 Appendix 4A Higher-Order Corrections to the Period for Larger Amplitudes of a Simple Pendulum In Section 4.1.1, we found the period for a simple pendulum that undergoes small oscillations is given by T = π π l g (simple pendulum). How good is this approximation? If the pendulum is pulled out to an initial angle θ 0 that is not small (such that our first approximation sinθ θ no longer holds) then our expression for the period is no longer valid. We shall calculate the first-order (or higherorder) correction to the period of the pendulum. Let s first consider the mechanical energy, a conserved quantity in this system. Choose an initial state when the pendulum is released from rest at an angle θ i ; this need not be at time t = 0, and in fact later in this derivation we ll see that it s inconvenient to choose this position to be at t = 0. Choose for the final state the position and velocity of the bob at an arbitrary time t. Choose the zero point for the potential energy to be at the bottom of the bob s swing (Figure 4A.1). Figure 4A.1 Energy diagram for simple pendulum The mechanical energy when the bob is released from rest at an angle θ i is E i = K i +U i = mg l (1 cosθ i ). (4.C.37) The tangential component of the velocity of the bob at an arbitrary time t is given by and the kinetic energy at that time is v θ = l dθ dt, (4.C.38) 4-1

14 The mechanical energy at time t is then K f = 1 mv = 1 θ m l dθ dt. (4.C.39) 1 dθ E f = K f + U f = m l + m g l(1 cos θ ). (4.C.40) dt Because the tension in the string is always perpendicular to the displacement of the bob, the tension does no work, we neglect any frictional forces, and hence mechanical energy is constant, E f = E i. Thus 1 m l dθ dt l dθ dt + mg l (1 cosθ) = mg l (1 cosθ i ) = g l (cosθ cosθ i ). (4.C.41) We can solve Equation (4.C.41) for the angular velocity as a function of θ, dθ dt = g l cosθ cosθ i. (4.C.4) Note that we have taken the positive square root, implying that dθ / dt 0. This clearly cannot always be the case, and we should change the sign of the square root every time the pendulum s direction of motion changes. For our purposes, this is not an issue. If we wished to find an explicit form for either θ(t) or t( θ ), we would have to consider the signs in Equation (4.C.4) more carefully. Before proceeding, it s worth considering the difference between Equation (4.C.4) and the equation for the simple pendulum in the simple harmonic oscillator limit, where cosθ 1 (1/ )θ. Then Eq. (4.C.4) reduces to dθ dt = g l θ i θ. (4.C.43) In both Equations (4.C.4) and (4.C.43) the last term in the square root is proportional to the difference between the initial potential energy and the final potential energy. The final potential energy for the two cases is plotted in Figures 4A. for π < θ < π on the left and π / < θ < π / on the right (the vertical scale is in units of mgl ). 4-13

15 Figures 4A. Potential energies as a function of displacement angle It would seem to be to our advantage to express the potential energy for an arbitrary displacement of the pendulum as the difference between two squares. We do this by first recalling the trigonometric identity 1 cosθ = sin (θ / ) (4.C.44) with the result that Equation (4.C.4) may be re-expressed as dθ dt = g l (sin (θ i / ) sin (θ / )). (4.C.45) Equation (4.C.45) is separable, Rewrite Equation (4.C.46) as dθ sin (θ i / ) sin (θ / ) = g l dt (4.C.46) dθ sin(θ i / ) 1 sin (θ / ) sin (θ i / ) = g l dt. (4.C.47) The ratio sin(θ / ) / sin(θ i / ) in the square root in the denominator will oscillate (but not with simple harmonic motion) between 1 and +1, and so we will make the identification sin(θ / ) sinφ = sin(θ i / ). (4.C.48) 4-14

16 Let b = sin(θ i / ), so that sin θ = bsinφ cos θ = 1 θ sin 1 = (1 b sin φ) 1. (4.C.49) Eq. (4.C.47) can then be rewritten in integral form as dθ g = b 1 sin φ l dt. (4.C.50) From differentiating the first expression in Equation (4.C.49), we have that 1 cosθ dθ = bcosφ dφ cosφ 1 dθ = b dφ = b cos(θ / ) sin φ dφ 1 sin (θ / ) (4.C.51) = b 1 sin φ 1 b sin φ dφ. Substituting the last equation in (4.C.51) into the left-hand side of the integral in (4.C.50) yields b 1 sin φ dφ = dφ. (4.C.5) b 1 sin φ 1 b sin φ 1 b sin φ Thus the integral in Equation (4.C.50) becomes dφ g = 1 b sin φ l dt. (4.C.53) This integral is one of a class of integrals known as elliptic integrals. We find a power series solution to this integral by expanding the function (1 b sin φ) 1 = 1+ 1 b sin φ b4 sin 4 φ +. (4.C.54) The integral in Equation (4.C.53) then becomes 4-15

17 1+ 1 b sin φ b4 sin 4 φ + dφ g = l dt. (4.C.55) Now let s integrate over one period. Set t = 0 when θ = 0, the lowest point of the swing, so that sinφ = 0 and φ = 0. One period T has elapsed the second time the bob returns to the lowest point, or when φ = π. Putting in the limits of the φ -integral, we can integrate term by term, noting that π 1 b sin φ dφ = 0 π b (1 cos(φ)) dφ = 1 1 b φ sin(φ) π 0 (4.C.56) Thus, from Equation (4.C.55) we have that We can now solve for the period, = 1 πb = 1 π sin θ i. π 1+ 1 b sin φ b4 sin 4 φ + dφ = 0 π + 1 π sin θ i + = g l T T 0 g l dt, (4.C.57) T = π l g 1+ 1 θ i 4 sin +. (4.C.58) If the initial angle θ i << 1 (measured in radians), then sin (θ i / ) θ i / 4 and the period is approximately where T π l g θ i = T θ i, (4.C.59) l T0 = π (4.C.60) g is the period of the simple pendulum with the standard small angle approximation. The first order correction to the period of the pendulum is then 4-16

18 ΔT 1 = 1 16 θ T i 0. (4.C.61) Figure 4A.3 below shows the three functions given in Equation (4.C.60) (the horizontal, or red plot if seen in color), Equation (4.C.59) (the middle, parabolic or green plot) and the numerically-integrated function obtained by integrating the expression in Equation (4.C.53) (the upper, or blue plot) between φ = 0 and φ = π. The plots demonstrate that Equation (4.C.60) is a valid approximation for small values of θ i, and that Equation (4.C.59) is a very good approximation for all but the largest amplitudes of oscillation. The vertical axis is in units of l / g. Note the displacement of the horizontal axis. Figure 4A.3 Pendulum Period Approximations as Functions of Amplitude 4-17

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