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Kater's pendulum




Real Lab


  • Shift the weight W1 to one end of katers pendulum and fix it. Fix the knife edge K1 just below it.
  • Keep the knife edge K2 at the other end and fix the wooden weight W2 symmetrical to other end. Keep the small weight 'w' near to centre.
  • Suspend the pendulum about the knife edge 1 and take the time for about 10 oscillations. Note down the time t1 using a stopwatch and calculate its time period using equation T1=t1/10.
  • Now suspend about knife edge K2 by inverting the pendulum and note the time t2 for 10 oscillations. Calculate T2 also.
  • If «math xmlns=¨http://www.w3.org/1998/Math/MathML¨»«msub»«mi»T«/mi»«mn»2«/mn»«/msub»«mo»§#8800;«/mo»«msub»«mi»T«/mi»«mn»1«/mn»«/msub»«/math», adjust the position of knife edge K2 so that «math xmlns=¨http://www.w3.org/1998/Math/MathML¨»«msub»«mi»T«/mi»«mn»2«/mn»«/msub»«mo»§#8776;«/mo»«msub»«mi»T«/mi»«mn»1«/mn»«/msub»«/math».
  • Balance the pendulum on a sharp wedge and mark the position of its centre of gravity. Measure the distance of the knife-edge K1 as h1 and that of K2 as h2 from the centre of gravity. 


Observations and Calculations


To determine T1 and T2


            Distance of  K1 from C.G,h1  = ...............m.

            Distance of  K2 from C.G,h2 =...............m.


            Acceleration due to gravity, g =...............ms-2.




  • Choose desired environment from combo box.
  • Select suitable values for mass of wood cylinder and mass of steel cylinder.
  • Choose the position of knife edge, steel and wood cylinder by changing the sliders for it.
  • After choosing values, place the mouse over wood cylinder, drag and make it to oscillate.
  • Note the time for 10 oscillations, by clicking on the ‘START’ and ‘STOP’ button of stop watch.
  • Click on ‘STOP’ button under variables, for the pendulum to stop oscillating.
  • Click on the ‘Invert’ button to invert the pendulum.
  • Again take the time for 10 oscillations.
  • Click on ‘Show Measurements’ checkbox to get the value of h1 and h2.
  • Repeat the experiment by changing the values in ‘variables’ region. 


              Note-When you click on the wood or steel cylinder after selecting all the variables, a box appears if the selected values is not  applicable.




 The acceleration due to gravity at a given place is found to be =...............ms-2.



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