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Conservation of Energy

Posted on Mar 14 2011 by Andrew MacKinnon

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Tags: asell physics, classical physics

Experiment Overview

The law of Conservation of energy is proved in this practical where Gravitational Potential Energy is transformed into Kinetic Energy. A metal ball is suspended as a pendulum, as the pendulum swings it is released at the lowest point of the swing where it will only have horizontal motion. By measuring the subsequent vertical and horizontal distances the metal ball travels after the release point the velocity and hence the Kinetic Energy of the ball at the point of release can be determined. The Gravitational Potential Energy that the ball has lost before the release is proportional to the height difference between its initial position and the release point. Hence students are able to determine the decrease in Gravitational Potential Energy which is equal to the Kinetic Energy at the point of release.

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