1D50.25 - Conical Pendulum

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Conical Pendulum
Conservation of Angular Momentum
Area of Study:
Short Pendulum, Wireless Video Camera.

Set the pendulum up with the wireless camera about 1ft above the pendulum pivot.  Start the pendulum in circular motion and observe the cone scribed out by the pendulum string.

  • Leonid Minkin, Daniel Sikes, "Demonstrating Conical Pendulum Stable and Unstable States", TPT, Vol. 59, #6, Sept. 2021, p. 474.
  • John J. Lynch, "The Conical Pendulum Driven with a LEGO® Stepper Motor", TPT, Vol. 56, #6, Sept. 2018, p. 398.
  • William A. (Toby) Dittrich, "Drop Tower Physics", TPT, Vol. 52, #7, Oct. 2014, p. 415.
  • Thomas Moses and Natalie L. Adolphi, "A New Twist for the Conical Pendulum", TPT, Vol. 36, #6, Sept. 1998, p. 372.
  • G. Freier, "The Conical Pendulum", TPT, Vol. 2, #5, May 1964, p. 238.
  • "The Conical Pendulum", TPT, Vol. 1, #5, Nov. 1963, p. 238.
  • R. Mathevet, P. Marchou, C.M. Fabre, N. Lamrani, N. Combe, "Coriolis Acceleration and Critical Slowing-Down: A Quantitative Laboratory Experiment", AJP, Vol. 92, #2, Feb. 2024, p. 100.
  • A. Dupré and P. Janssen, "An Accurate Determination of the Acceleration of Gravity "g" in the Undergraduate Laboratory", AJP, Vol. 68, #8, Aug. 2000, p. 704.
  • Henry Klostergaard, "Determination of Gravitational Acceleration g Using a Uniform Circular Motion", AJP, Vol. 44, #1, Jan. 1976, p. 68.
  • J. A. Schaefer and C. T. Walker, "Letter re: 'Conical Pendulum Experiment'", AJP, Vol. 37, #9, Sep. 1969, p. 943.
  • Ivan Proctor and T. H. Edwards, "Conical Pendulum Experiment", AJP, Vol. 36, #6, June 1968, p. 555.
  • H. Brinkman, S. Otter, and Guenter Schwarz, "Electrically Stimulated Conical Pendulum Showing the Particle Acceleration in an Isochronous Cyclotron", AJP, Vol. 35, #11, Nov. 1967, p. ix.
  • Wallace A. Hilton, "Another Version of the Conical Pendulum", AJP, Vol. 31, #1, Jan. 1963, p. 58.
  • "M-784: Pendulum and Bottle", DICK and RAE Physics Demo Notebook.
  • Richard Manliffe Sutton, "M-138,160", Demonstration Experiments in Physics.
  • Robert Ehrlich, "Conical Pendulum", Turning the World Inside Out, p. 74 - 75.
  • Julius Sumner Miller, Q105 & A105, Millergrams I – Some Enchanting Questions for Enquiring Minds, p. 67 & 115.

Disclaimer: These demonstrations are provided only for illustrative use by persons affiliated with The University of Iowa and only under the direction of a trained instructor or physicist.  The University of Iowa is not responsible for demonstrations performed by those using their own equipment or who choose to use this reference material for their own purpose.  The demonstrations included here are within the public domain and can be found in materials contained in libraries, bookstores, and through electronic sources.  Performing all or any portion of any of these demonstrations, with or without revisions not depicted here entails inherent risks.  These risks include, without limitation, bodily injury (and possibly death), including risks to health that may be temporary or permanent and that may exacerbate a pre-existing medical condition; and property loss or damage.  Anyone performing any part of these demonstrations, even with revisions, knowingly and voluntarily assumes all risks associated with them.