Skip to main content

Get to Know the Math Behind the Cavendish Gravity Experiment

Cavendish Gravity Experiment Math Explained

By Andrew Bennett

Gravity Demo 3.0 Is Underway

This video marks the beginning of my third dive into the Cavendish experiment. Before now, I've created devices that could potentially show the effects of gravitation between small objects. However, I have never eliminated enough sources of uncertainty to make that definitive or to derive a value for G. That is the goal of this summer's physics project.

Math Behind Cavendish Experiment Explained

In this video, I work through the math for determining G from the Cavendish gravity experiment. This math includes the Law of Universal Gravitation, equations for torque (from both a point force and a twisted string), the formula for the period of a torsional oscillator, and some equations for calculating rotational inertia. The end result is an ugly equation that will get us an important value: the Universal Gravitational Constant.

More Info on My Newest Gravity Demo

I plan to spend a large chunk of the summer on this latest design. Before now, this has been more of a classroom demo than an honest attempt at making a measurement for G. I am working toward and expecting much more reliable results with this design, and with it being in an environment that I can control more completely.

If you're interested, please remember to subscribe to my blog and YouTube channel, so you won't miss the updates along the way! I am also using this as an opportunity to improve the production value of my videos and create something that I'm proud of.

I look forward to hearing any ideas and critiques, so don't hesitate to leave a comment below.


Popular posts from this blog

Mechanical vs. Nonmechanical Energy Explained in 2 Physics Videos

Credit: Public Domain By Andrew Bennett Energy Conservation in the Real World We learn early in physics about the Law of Conservation of Energy. Check out my previous post on the topic for a quick refresher on its definition and equations . We also solve a lot of problems that ignore things like friction and air resistance, so our sleds keep sliding and our pendulums keep swinging. Imaginary objects seem to follow the Law of Conservation of Energy quite nicely. However, what about real objects? When we observe the world around us, we see things slow and stop. A car driving on a flat road can't keep the same speed without more energy from gasoline, diesel, etc. Balls don't bounce as high the second time. A child on a swing slows down without being pushed or pumping their legs. Do these examples violate the Law of Conservation of Energy? Of course not! Mechanical and Nonmechanical Energy Video In this video, we review various energy types. Mechanical energy usually

10 Science Channels That Are Worth a Sub on YouTube

If you're going to spend time watching videos on YouTube, why not learn something while you're at it? Whether you like slow-motion videos of explosions, crazy chemistry and physics demos, or simple explanations of complex science concepts, the following 10 YouTube channels are worth your subscription. By Amber Bennett   1. Physics Girl Source: YouTube/Physics Girl Dianna Cowern's  Physics Girl  channel features demos, experiments, and other cool stuff (be sure to check out her 1,800-mile test drive of a hydrogen fuel cell car ). If you have just started studying physics or would like to brush up on the basics, we recommend starting with this playlist . 2. Vsauce Source: YouTube/Vsauce Michael Stevens' Vsauce channel covers a wide variety of subjects, including space, art, physics, and human behavior. His physics videos answer such questions as " Which way is down ?" and " How much does a shadow weigh ?" You can check out his physics videos on this p

The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Electricity

By Amber Bennett It keeps our favorite devices charged, our lights and router on, and our appliances running. As much as we rely on electricity, you might not understand exactly how it works or certain terms related to it. Not to worry. Keep reading for a guide to common science terms related to electricity. First, let's start with electricity itself. Electricity  Basically, electricity is the energy of charged particles. It also can be described as the flow of electrons (negatively charged particles) from one atom to another. When the electrons are able to move , they can light a lightbulb, power up a cellphone, or give a washing machine the power it needs to run a load of laundry.  Now, let's look at science terms related to electricity. Battery A battery is a device used for storing energy . It converts chemical energy into electrical energy. Most batteries include a case, two electrodes, and an electrolyte (the chemical that fills the gap between the electrodes; it often i