Why is a pendulum is affected by gravity and a mass on a spring is not?

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@eslbright

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@eslbright asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Why is it that a pendulum is affected by gravity (g is in the equation for time period) and a mass on a spring is not?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 27/11/2010 12:30:12 by _system »

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SteveFish

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I can think of some situations in which a mass on a spring would be affected by gravity and others where it would not be affected.

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Offline granpa

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instead of 'g' you have k which is the 'stiffness' of the spring

gravity creates the 'restoring force' for a pendulum but the spring creates the restoring force for a mass spring system

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SteveFish

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If you have a long tightly coiled spring fastened so that it is standing on its end, and fasten a weight on the top end of the spring, it will act like a pendulum when given a push. In this instance both gravity and the spring are involved as the weight rocks back and forth.