Do a literature search (including the Reklis collection) to find out what you can about this pendulum and its use in determining the local gravitational constant. I will expect you, at the end of your search, to outline for me the steps that you will undertake to complete this measurement. DO NOT make any adjustments in the Kater's pendulum before running it by me. (Remember: you have two weeks. The first week should include a relatively crude measurement, from whose results you will conclude how to improve upon these crude results in week two. Use the week inbetween labs to do whatever calculations you need in order to get a value of 'g' out of your first week's data.)
Your plan of attack should include some knowledge of the possible sources of error in your measurement, and some idea of what order of precision is possible, given the equipment at hand. (Please ask the instructor to show you what equipment is at hand.) One possible source of error, for example, is the amplitude of oscillation of the pendulum. You should find out what size error this introduces, as well as determining an upper bound for its size for your experiment.
When you have finished the planning stage (30-45 minutes?), meet with
your lab instructor to explain what you intend to do. [S]he will need to
approve this plan before you continue with the second part. Be sure to
have an idea of what you need to accomplish by the end of the first lab
session, so that you can use the second week most efficiently.