Q:

Why is the spherical bob preferred to bobs of other shapes used in a simple pendulum experiment?

A:

Quick Answer

Technically, a pendulum can be created with an object of any weight or shape attached to the end of a rod or string. However, a spherical object is preferred because it can be most easily assumed that the center of mass is closest to the pivot's end, thereby limiting variables.

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Full Answer

Simple equations that model the behavior of a pendulum are written in such a way to abstract the behavior of the pendulum in the most possible cases. Although in application, most pendulums do not have spherical bobs, the overall equation to describe a pendulum's movement can roughly predict the behavior anyway.

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