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At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat.

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First question, why is \(U_i=mgh_f\) instead of \(U_i = mgh_i\)?
that is the total energy of the system!! the energy of the system is constant if there were no other forces acting. i.e. Kinetic Energy + Potential Energy = constant = total energy now given that the pendulum starts from rest at height h_i, K.E. = 0, total energy = P.E

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But with the initial height hi, isn't the PE = \(mgh_i\)? Why is it \(mgh_f\)?
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Initial PE = mg(l-lcosθi) = mgl (1-cosθi) Final PE = mg(l-lcosθf)= mgl(1-cosθf) PE loss = change in PE = mgl[(1-cosθf) - (1-cosθi)] = mgl(cosθi - cosθf) ??
|dw:1353430286611:dw|
Yup.
since l is defined as the distanced from pivoted point to the center of mass ... the energy of the system is \( mgl (1 - \cos \theta) \) ... this is the total energy of the system ... probably experiment expects you to observe until the blob halt's to move.

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