Physical Pendulum Pivoted From Arbitrary Point

Dave Nero


This simulation shows the motion of a physical pendulum, and compares a plot of its position to an equivalent simple pendulum. Drag the red points to change the shape of the pendulum, the location of its pivot point, and the starting angle. Click the play button in the bottom left corner to watch the pendulum swing.
  1. What happens when the pivot is inside the pendulum?
  2. What happens when the pendulum is made to be very large?
  3. What happens when the pendulum is pulled back by a large angle?
  4. A "simple pendulum" is an idealization. Under what cases is it a good approximation for a real (physical) pendulum?