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# Making Maths: Make a Pendulum

Galileo, a famous inventor who lived about 400 years ago, came up with an idea similar to this for making a time measuring instrument. His idea came from watching a lamp swinging back and forth.

Experiment with different size weights.

Try different lengths of string.

Can you turn your pendulum into an accurate minute timer?

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Age 7 to 14

Challenge Level

Galileo, a famous inventor who lived about 400 years ago, came up with an idea similar to this for making a time measuring instrument. His idea came from watching a lamp swinging back and forth.

You will need:

- String
- Weights (any objects which you can tie to the string)
- A piece of wood about $1.5$m long
- A hook
- Stopwatch

What to do:

- Tie a weight onto the end of the piece of string.
- Make a loop at the other end of the string.
- Screw the hook into the piece of wood and balance the wood between the backs of two chairs.
- Put the loop of string over the hook.

You have now made a pendulum and can begin to experiment to make a minute timer from it.

- Start the weight swinging and time how long it takes to make $20$ swings. Use a stopwatch for this.
- Find a way to make the pendulum swing $20$ times in $20$ seconds.

Experiment with different size weights.

Try different lengths of string.

Can you turn your pendulum into an accurate minute timer?