SWINGING SCIENCE BY A SWINGING GAL

 Swinging Science! CONTENTS Project Information Introduction Purpose Apparatus Methods Observations Analysis Applications Conclusion Acknowledgements

Introduction

When I was very young I used to love going to the park on a sunny day and asking my parents for a push on the swing and naturally they would get tired of pushing me and I would persist of asking them for more and more pushes. When I became older either though experimenting and I don’t mean the science stuff experimenting it was probably what you would call trial and error or maybe by watching other older kids. I learned how to make the swing move without a push and also leaned how to pump it. I just took it for granted that eventually I could do this. I didn’t need dad or mom anymore I became “swing independent”. Now that I am fourteen and I know some what about science, experiments and controls I am curious as to what methods that I used to get the swing going worked. I am also wondering if there are any other swing like situations in real life that work like this or if any other use can be put from doing a science like explanation of this, if it can it would be really great so from the help of my dad and my curiosity this is what my project is on.

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Purpose

The purpose of my experiment is

1. To investigate the effects of squatting and standing on a swing (during swing cycles) on amplitude.
2. To initiate swinging motion without obtaining a push.
3. To relate such swinging effects to real life situations and possibly to create a model that will simulate this.

 Apparatus Me. Playground swings (vinyl seat, chain see photos) Metric measure, various masses to add to the weight in my experiment (see photos) Pendulum model (see photo) simulation of periodic motion

 Method A series of six experiments were done. Experiment #1 Starting to swing from a still position, swing was still in its mid position. I stood up and held the chains and pushed as shown on the photos and diagrams (see observations) starting motion or swinging. Once started, alternate sitting down (at the maximum points of the swing) and standing up (at the mid position) was started. Measurements were done recording the gain in amplitude for each cycle of swing. Experiment #2 The process of step number three above was reversed with me sitting at the mid position and standing a the maximum point of the swing cycle gains in amplitude were recorded. Experiment #3 Distance gained by standing all the time while swinging. Experiment #4 Distance gained by squatting all the time while swinging. Experiment #5 Starting from still position, trying to make the swing move. Stand up while at the still position. Pull on swing chains. Then push on chains and see if you start moving. If you do, then increase your distance by the squat, stand,squat positions as in experiment # 1. Starting from still position trying to make the swing move by squatting then pushing and pulling in sequence on the chains.

Observations

Observation #1

Gain in amplitude by alternating sitting down, standing up, sitting down motions (as in photos) during the swing cycle.

Observation #2

Diatance gained by standing, squatting, standing motions.

Observation #3

Distance gained while standing throughout entire swing.

Observation #4

Distance gained by squatting thrughout entire swing.

Observation #5.1

Making the swing move from a still position while standing by alternately pushing and pulling on that chains while extending the feet.

Observation #5.2

Making the swing move from a still position while squatting by alternately pushing and pulling on that chains while extending the feet.

Applications

1. I now understand how and why my swing starts without a push and how it gets more distance once it moves. It would be very fun if teachers were to explain forces and kinds of energy by letting their students go to a playground and play and talk about science there.

2. There is a place in Spain with a huge 700 year old church called the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostella. In the church is a huge container-like object that burns incense during special church holidays. They call this a censer. I went to the web and checked out the place. They have some real-time web cams showing the inside and outside of the church. The censor weighs as much as an adult male and hangs by a rope attached to a pulley from the ceiling (about 20 meters high). The other end of the rope hangs loose on the floor of the church. A number of men do something to make the censor swing in a way like the swings in my experiment. The censor is first pushed to start it swinging. Then the men pump the censor by squatting, standing, squatting…sort of…instead of squatting and standing they do this: As the censor passes through its still point they pull hard to shorten the length of the censor and rope swing by about 3 meters. When the censor reaches the high point of the swing they relax their pull and this makes the length of the censor and rope increase to where it was. This is like my pumping: squat, stand, squat. These men’s moves change potential energy to kinetic and increase the energy by doing this. As this swings, the coals burn the incense and spread the smell through the church. It is said that in the old days people from all over Europe and Asia came to visit this church. Because they got very dirty when they traveled, they smelled bad. The censor covered the smell and made them feel close to God at the same time.

The photograph to the right shows the Botafumeiro Censer of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. The picture was obtained from http://www.dickinson.edu/~nogierm/Pictures.html.

3. Possibly, the way space shuttles re-enter the earth’s atmosphere could be fixed to work like a swing and reduce the energy the shuttle has instead of increasing it (the opposite of my project).

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Conclusion

1. Squatting, standing, squatting increases your swing distance.
2. You start swinging from “ standing position” by doing the push-pull method on the chains.
3. Some cool applications come out of this.

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Acknowledgements

• Thanks to my dad for all his help trying to make me understand something I used to do when I was a kid. Now I understand why I did this, but it is not as much fun knowing why it happens.
• Thanks to my sister for helping to set up my web page.

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