Conservation of Energy Lab

Purpose: Is to find and determine if energy within the pendulum system is conserved as it swings from left to right.

Equipment: Direct Measurement Video


The procedure was to open and look at the video. Then to gain data points by pausing and playing the video so that there was a sufficient amount of data to construct an equation. Then using these data points and kinematic equations, we deduced the velocity of the pendulum after each swing to see if there was a notable change in energy. Then finally we calculated the percent difference between the theoretical velocity that the pendulum should have and the calculated velocity.

Data & Data Analysis

Here is the video in which the data was derived:

Height MeasuredVelocity Theoretical Velocity Percent difference
Trial 1 .38 m .2597 m/s .273 m/s 3.56%
Trial 2 .37 m .2525 m/s .269 m/s 6.13%

Conclusion: In conclusion, using the data and examining the percent difference it is obvious that with each swing a slight yet palpable amount of energy was taken out of the pendulum system. This was interpreted because the first trial caused a 3.56% decrease from theoretical to measured velocity and this difference increased even more to 6.13% when the next trial occurred. So it can be concluded that energy is conserved as the pendulum swings, even though there is a percent difference of energy taken from the swing of the pendulum, this energy is most likely caused by the friction in the top of the rope and some slight air resistance.


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