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Time Period of a Simple Pendulum in Space

Mary Beth asked:

“if you set up a pendulum aboard an orbiting space vehicle, would the period be less than, the same as, or greater than it would be in our lab? explain.”

Ans:

In a space vehicle orbiting around the earth, the apparent weight is zero as the entire gravitational pull is being utilized in providing the centripetal force required for revolving. This is called weightlessness in space.

i.e; in effect, the acceleration due to gravity is zero which make the time period of the satellite infinity. The pendulum will not oscillate at all.

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Tailpiece:

However, in manned space vehicles, there is an option to simulate gravity by making the system rotate at a particular rate so as to make the inhabitants feel as if there is weight and gravity.


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