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Hello,

For my physics IA, I"m investigating how the time period of a bifilar pendulum changes with length of the pendulum and linear mass density of the thread. Is this too simple a topic for HL? Plus, I feel that linear mass density and the length of the pendulum are too related to be separated into two variables. I also don't get a very strong correlation for linear mass density and time period (even for a cubic curve, the R2 - correlation coefficient - was only 0.927).

Any help will be appreciated and thanks in advance!

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It seems that you're attempting to use two definitions for one thing - both linear mass density and the length are indeed similar, and describe similar things, except they use different units and concepts.  I'd recommend sticking to one definition to make your reasoning clearer, and to simplify calculations.  The topic is probably OK for HL - it's more complicated than the regular pendulum, which is good.  Note that your discussion and analysis should also be of HL standard, not just the topic.  If you don't have a very strong correlation, then put this in your discussion and try to figure out why.  

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Thank you! I've decided to stick to length of the bifilar pendulum and time period, for which I have an almost-perfect linear correlation. I'm thinking about calculating the time period by finding oscillation for 5 swings by 5 and then compare it with literature values online. What do you think?

Edited by Lynn Gweeny

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Sounds good, especially with the literature value comparison.  Our teacher recommends doing at least seven changes of the independent variable, with three trials for.each change, but I don't know about your teacher.  Good luck!  

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