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Simple Harmonic Motion: Pendulum
The movement of a pendulum is called simple harmonic motion: when moved from a starting position, the pendulum feels a restoring force proportional to how far it’s been moved. Put another way, it always wants go back to where it started.
Pendulums move by constantly changing energy from one form to another. Because of this, they are great demonstrators of the conservation of energy—the idea that energy doesn’t just appear or disappear; it always comes from (or goes) somewhere. The reason pendulums don’t move forever is because eventually, all the energy ends up transferred to the surrounding environment. But what if you could capture some of that lost energy? This fun demonstration does just that: you’ll use a pendulum to move energy from one place to another.
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