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The Physical Pendulum in an Advanced Undergraduate Course in Mechanics

Solomon Castillo Douglas
David M. Harrison
Organization: Dept. of Physics, Univ. of Toronto
Theodore G. Shepherd
Organization: Univ. of Toronto
Department: Department of Physics
Journal / Anthology

Computers in Physics
Year: 1994
Volume: 8
Issue: 4
Page range: 416-419

The physical pendulum treated with a Hamiltonian formulation is a natural topic for study in a course in advanced classical mechanics. For the past three years, we have been offering a series of problem sets studying this system numerically in our third-year undergraduate courses in mechanics. The problem sets investigate the physics of the pendulum in ways not easily accessible without computer technology and explore various algorithms for solving mechanics problems. Our computational physics is based on Mathematica with some C communicating with Mathematica, although nothing in this paper is dependent on that choice. We have nonetheless found this system, and particularly its graphics, to be a good one for use with undergraduates.

*Science > Physics > Mechanics