The swinging of an object tied to the bottom of a string is called period of a pendulum.
It starts and ends at the two opposite highest positions that the object reaches during its movement. There are variables, forces and energies at work in the happening and stopping of this movement, therefore studying the motion of a pendulum in all its characteristics is called studying a complex system.

In this simulation the students are able to apply energy to one or more pendulum swings, as well as modify all the variables that affect its movement: mass, lenght of rope, gravity and friction. It is possible to use a stopwatch to concretely measure and understand the the start and ending of the pendulum’s period and to see a graph of the energies in action during the swing.
In the lab section all the variables and tools are available and it is possible to consider and visualize velocity and acceleration.


  • Observe and understand all the variables that describe and affect the motion of the pendulum;
  • Learn the right nomenclature and units of measure for each variable;
  • Visualize the conservation and dispersion of the mechanical energy;
  • Read and explain an energy graph changing in time;


  • Design experiments highlighting the effect of each variable on the period of the pendulum;
  • Describe the effects, characteristics and role of each variable;
  • Find through various simulation the best equation for the relationship between length and period, and between initial angle and period.