The Wilberforce pendulum illustrates important properties of coupled oscillators including normal modes and beat phenomena. When helical spring is attached to a mass to create the Wilberforce pendulum, the longitudinal and torsional oscillations are coupled. A Wilberforce can be constructed simply from a standard laboratory spring, and a smartphone's accelerometer and gyroscope can be used to monitor the oscillations. We show that the resulting time-series data match theoretical predictions, and we share the procedures for observing both normal modes and beats.
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PAPERS| November 01 2023
Coupled oscillations of the Wilberforce pendulum unveiled by smartphones
Thomas Gallot, Daniel Gau, Rodrigo García-Tejera; Coupled oscillations of the Wilberforce pendulum unveiled by smartphones. Am. J. Phys. 1 November 2023; 91 (11): 873–878. https://doi.org/10.1119/5.0138680
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