SAT Subject Physics Practice Question 652: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 652

3. A pendulum has a 1 second period of vibration. At what period in time would the string have to break for the pendulum bob to fly away the maximum possible distance from, but not below, the rest position of the pendulum bob? (The zero point for the pendulum at t = 0 is at the maximum displacement)

A. t = .125 sec
B. t = .25 sec
C. t = .375 sec
D. t = .5 sec
E. t = .625 sec

Correct Answer: C


The correct answer is (C). When the time equals .375 seconds, the pendulum is 3/4 of the way through the first half of its period. At that time, if the pendulum string breaks, the pendulum will fly off at a 45° angle, which is the angle that gives the pendulum bob maximum time of flight.

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