Add the Rotational Inertia Accessory to any PASCO Rotary Motion Sensor to study the oscillations of a pendulum, the rotational inertia of a disk, a steel ring and a metal rod, as well as the conservation of momentum during a rotational collision. The clamp-on Super Pulley allows students to apply a torque by hanging a mass over the pulley.
Conservation of Angular Momentum
To demonstrate conservation of angular momentum, a non-rotating ring is dropped onto a rotating disk. The angular velocity of the disk is recorded in real time, and students can easily determine the angular velocities of the disk just before and after the ring is dropped. Combining these velocities with the rotational inertia of the disk and ring, students can confirm that angular momentum is conserved.
Couple two pendulums with a rubber band and plot the Position vs. Time for each pendulum. The result is a vivid example of energy transfer between the pendulums.
Large Amplitude Pendulum
By placing one mass on each end of the tube, the pendulum will oscillate slowly. Students will have time to view the motion of the pendulum, while also watching the real-time graph of displacement, velocity, and acceleration vs. time. The period can be measured as a function of the amplitude of the pendulum and compared to theory.