The Flip-Flop Pendulum--A nonlinear physics archetype

Mercer University

It has been shown that energy loss in a long period pendulum results primarily from internal friction of the load bearing structures of the mechanical oscillator--c.f. Peters and Pritchett, "The not-so-simple harmonic oscillator", Amer. J. Phys. 65, no. 11, 1065-1073 (1997).  The generalized flip-flop pendulum model provides insight into loss mechanisms involving mesoanelastic complexity.  

Students interested in this project will be able to do measurements on an existing pendulum--to investigate the logarithmic decrement as a function of period.

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