19 Pendulum Examples: Detailed Explanations

A weight attached to a string at one end and hanging freely in the air from another end of the string fixed at one end is said to be a pendulum.

The weight oscillates back and forth from a fixed point regularly at a certain frequency where the angle of oscillation may vary depending upon the external forces exerted on the object. Here is a list of a few pendulum examples that we are going to discuss below:-

Wall Clock

The mechanical wall clock comes with a pendulum that is suspended below the clock. This pendulum oscillates for every second.

pendulum examples
Mechanical Clock; Image Credit: Pixabay

Read more on Difference Between Simple And Physical Pendulum: Detailed Analysis.

Newton’s Cradle

This cradle is a perfect example of elastic collision because the energy and the momentum of the bobs are conserved in Newton’s cradle.

Newton’s Cradle; Image Credit: Pixabay

The kinetic energy given to the bob at the end is carried to the other bobs converting it into the potential energy and the bob at the other end gives out this energy accelerating the bob conserving the momentum.


The swing is suspended from the two ends and oscillates when the force is applied to them. The swing put to the oscillation comes at a static equilibrium position gradually reducing the angle of oscillation.

Simple Pendulum

A simple pendulum is vertically suspended freely from the fixed point and oscillates at an angle when a force is applied in a horizontal path to displace it from the static equilibrium position.

Hypnosis Clock Pendulum; Image Credit: Pixabay

The restoring force is produced in the bob of a pendulum due to the gravity that will bring it back to the static position.

Read more on Pendulum Uses: Exhaustive Real Life Uses And Application.

Foucault’s Pendulum

Foucault’s pendulum demonstrates the rotational motion of the Earth. This pendulum is suspended freely from a great height and the Earth is rotating under this pendulum.

Foucault’s pendulum; Image Credit: Pixabay

The variation in the position of Foucault’s pendulum is due to the rotation of the Earth.

Ballistic Pendulum

The ballistic pendulum consists of a wooden block attached to the pendulum at one end and is freely suspended in the air. These types of pendulum are used to measure the velocity and the kinetic energy of the object by making it strikes on the wooden block attached to the pendulum.

Read more on What Is Oscillation Frequency: Interesting Facts and FAQs.

Wrecking Ball

The wrecking ball is used to demolish the construction and apartments. This is a pendulum with a heavy bob mass suspended with a strong chain to hold this weight.

Wrecking Ball; Image Credit: Pixabay

On giving the momentum to the bob, the bob is released to collide with the structure that needs to be demolished and the pendulum continuously oscillates destroying the structure.

Object hanging on a String

The object hanging on a string moves freely oscillating at a certain angle of suspension. One such example is a lantern hanging on a hook tie with a rope.


It is a device used by the musicians to keep them in a beat. It consists of a pendulum that oscillates back and forth at a given tempo.

Metronome; Image Credit: Pixabay

Each time it swings, it produces a sound that is a beat for the musicians.

Read more on What Is The Amplitude Of Oscillation: How to Calculate It.

Torsion Pendulum

The torsion pendulum consists of a bar or disc shape mass attached to one end and another end fixed at one point. So, instead of swinging in an oscillatory motion, this pendulum rotates the disc attached to it. Hence, these types of pendulums are used as time measuring or timekeeping devices.

Cock Pendulum

Cock pendulums are indicators of an earthquake. It usually consists of a cock, and from the beaks of cocks a single pendulum is suspended. As the seismic waves are sensed by the pendulum, it starts oscillating and due to the oscillation of the pendulum, the beaks of the cocks attached to the pendulum will move along the oscillation of the pendulum and will appear as if the cocks are digging in for food grains.

Read more on How To Calculate Oscillation: Exhaustive Insights.

Bifilar Pendulum

The bifilar pendulum is used to calculate the moment of inertia about the axis of rotation of an aircraft. Filar means a thread or a line. The pendulum is suspended between the two parallel wires equal in length. On giving a slight torque, the pendulum starts oscillating about the vertical axis from its center of a moment.

Kater’s Pendulum

The Katers pendulum is a compound pendulum and is used to measure the acceleration due to gravity like a gravimeter. Unlike other pendulums, this is a reversible pendulum. It is noticed that the time period of oscillation of a pendulum doesn’t change.

Wind Chimes

The wind chimes are similar to the pendulum and are set into oscillation as the air resistive force is incident on the chime.

Wind chime; Image Credit: Pixabay

Read more on Damped Oscillation Examples: Detailed Insights.


Bell is an example of the pendulum. The clapper of a bell is freely suspended in the middle of the structure to oscillate and collide with the inner surface of the bell and produce a sound.

Bell; Image Credit: Pixabay

Baby Cradle

The baby cradle is an example of the oscillatory motion and it oscillates back and forth. The cradle is held by the two chains suspended from the rod which helps to withstand the weight load.

Read more on Difference between Damped oscillation and forced oscillation: Insights.

Boxing Punching Bag

The punching bags are tightly filled with sand or grains and are handy to do the number of workouts, especially by boxers to improve the techniques of boxing.

Punching bags; Image Credit: Pixabay

The heavy bags are kept suspended on a hook and on every punch that by giving the external force, the bag starts oscillating like a pendulum.

Pendulum as Leveler

The pendulums are widely used in construction work to measure depth, length, and as a leveler. Since the weight suspended on the thread align the thread straight in a line and oscillates giving an arc shape.

Read more on Harmonic Oscillator Examples: Exhaustive Insights and Facts.

Swinging Chandelier

The chandeliers are large decorative pieces that have several candles and light bulbs mostly used to beautify the halls.

Chandeliers hanging in the hall; Image Credit: Pixabay

They are suspended from a chain and oscillate if the external force is applied on the chandelier or due to the strong wind blow.

Bowling Ball

Before making a throw towards the bawling pins, you spin the ball back and forth that gains the energy in the ball and release converting it into kinetic energy.

Read more on Forced Oscillations Examples: Detailed Insights.

Frequently Asked Questions

What affects the oscillation of the pendulum?

To set the pendulum into the oscillation the external force has to be incident.

The oscillation of the pendulum depends upon the mass of the pendulum, the force incident, the length of the string, the amplitude of oscillation, and the frictional force exerted on the mass.

What is the time period of an oscillating pendulum?

It is the time required for a pendulum to complete its one oscillation.

The time period of oscillation depends upon the length and the acceleration due to gravity and is given by the formula as T = 2π√L/g.


Hi, I’m Akshita Mapari. I have done M.Sc. in Physics. I have worked on projects like Numerical modeling of winds and waves during cyclone, Physics of toys and mechanized thrill machines in amusement park based on Classical Mechanics. I have pursued a course on Arduino and have accomplished some mini projects on Arduino UNO. I always like to explore new zones in the field of science. I personally believe that learning is more enthusiastic when learnt with creativity. Apart from this, I like to read, travel, strumming on guitar, identifying rocks and strata, photography and playing chess. Connect me on LinkedIn - linkedin.com/in/akshita-mapari-b38a68122

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