Remember the last time you played on a swing set? Scientists call this type of back and forth motion simple harmonic motion. Besides describing back and forth, or horizontal, movement, simple harmonic motion can also be a movement that is up and down, or vertical, like a bungee jumper bouncing after the jump. The time it takes for one complete cycle of these up-and-down movements is called a period. In this activity, we will study the up-and-down motion of a ball at the end of a Slinky® using a Go!Motion.
In this activity, you will
Graph vertical simple harmonic motion.
Find how long it takes to make one complete cycle, or period.
Find out how the period is affected by pulling the spring further down.
Sensors and Equipment
This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.