Question
Asked Feb 21, 2020
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A physics instructor demonstrates energy conservation by releasing a heavy pendulum bob, as shown in the sketch, allowing it to swing to and fro. What would happen if, in his exuberance, he gave the bob a slight shove as it left his nose? Explain.

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Expert Answer

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When the bob starts off from rest, its initial kinetic energy will be zero. The bob will convert its potential energy into kinetic energy as it goes down to the bottom of the swing. Then the kinetic energy will be converted back into potential energy and the bob will come to rest at the other end of its swing and it will start back. On the way back, the bob will increase its kinetic energy by reducing the potential energy until ...

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