Creating Pendulum Art

Using properties of physics and the resources in the new high-school innovation station courtesy of Mr. Diaz, Mr. Dong's AP Physics C class of seniors created "Pendulum Art" by tracking the path of a simple pendulum in colored mediums: light and paint. A pendulum consists of a weight allowed to swing freely back and forth hanging from a fixed point. The class was able to build an apparatus out of PVC pipes to swing a mass from in order to create paintings and captured photos of the intricate pattern the pendulum followed. They also created instructions so they can share this experience with other classes interested in science and art.

To track the paths, fishing line was threaded through the PVC apparatus and hung down, and pendulum bobs were created individually: to paint, students created a paint dispenser out of an empty glue bottle and mixed paint with flow medium to alter the consistency for best results; to track light, a small craft light was attached to the end of the line, and the long exposure setting on a high-quality camera captured the path. Further, by manipulating the ratio of the fishing line, the pendulum apparatus achieved different patterns. The students were able to apply their knowledge of physics to real-world simulations and create works of art in the process!
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