Physical Pendulum

A physical pendulum is something more extended or more complicated than just a small mass on a string. A person swinging on a playground swing is an excellent example of a physical pendulum. The distance of the center of mass from the axis of rotation and the rotational mass (or moment of inertia) and the accelertion of gravity determine the period. As for all simple harmonic oscillators, the period is independent of the amplitude.

Simple Pendulum

Torsional Pendulum
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(C) 2003, Doug Davis; all rights reserved