Simulation of Pendulum Waves

Description| How it works

The video below shows pendulum waves created with real pendulums. Here we'll simulate the same effect with Excel charts.


.xls file (76 KB)

How to use

Macros must be enabled for the simulation to work. Key in the lengths of the different pendulums into the blue coloured cells. The starting angles can also be entered next to the lengths. (In this simulation, it is assumed that the initial angles are small, hence the initial angles should be kept less than about 15°). Pressing the Run button runs the simulation, pressing the Stop button stops the simulation while the reset button puts all the pendulums back to their initial positions.

This app illustrates the benefits of simulating physical phenomena - through simulation, we can often look at situations which could be harder to create in reality. In this case, we can change the initial conditions and angles easily and see what kinds of patterns emerge - doing the same in reality will require more effort. The video below shows a few variations of the pendulum waves. Of course, coming up with an accurate mathematical model for simulation is not always easy.

Also See:

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