The damping phenomena in ordinary pendulums can be enhanced by using somewhat larger and less dense pendulum bobs than is usual. Convenient choices are shown to lead to damping behavior which definitely does not fit first power velocity damping, but gives a reasonable fit to square law velocity. A simple computer exercise is described which eventuates in a general law for amplitude decrease with square law damping. The same law is derived by analysis, but the computer approach requires much less mathematical background. Laboratory pendulums can be observed and their amplitude behavior satisfactorily compared to that predicted. A numerical measure of the damping force is thereby derived. The only measurements needed are measurements of successive pendulum amplitudes.
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April 01 1974
More Realistic Treatment of the Simple Pendulum without Difficult Mathematics
B. J. Miller; More Realistic Treatment of the Simple Pendulum without Difficult Mathematics. Am. J. Phys. 1 April 1974; 42 (4): 298–303. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.1987676
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