The motion of a conical pendulum in a rotating frame: The study of the paths, determination of oscillation periods, and the Bravais pendulum
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In this paper, Newton's equations are solved to describe the motion of a conical pendulum in a rotating frame for the right- and left-hand conical oscillations. If the pendulum is started with the initial angular velocity (+/-omega(0) - Omega(z)), with omega(0) being the frequency of pendulum oscillation and Omega(z) the angular velocity of the rotating frame around the z-axis, the paths are shown to be circular, which would apparently indicate that the Coriolis force becomes non-effective in the rotating frame. This paper explains why the paths in the rotating frame are circular, and the difference between the periods for the right- and left-handed rotations is calculated analytically. It is also shown that in an inertial frame, the conical pendulum follows an elliptical path. As the Bravais pendulum is a conical pendulum oscillating at Earth's surface, its motion is also discussed. (C) 2020 American Association of Physics Teachers.