Lab 09 - Finding a Spring Constant
If a spring is not compressed or stretched too much, it should
obey Hooke’s Law. According to this Law, if an additional
force, Fy, acts on the spring then the change in the spring
Figure 1: A
length, y, will be directly proportional to that force. The
spring constant, k, for a Hooke’s Law spring is defined as the
constant of proportionality that relates the two variables, so
Origin on a spring.
that Fy = ky . We have created a digital movie that shows a
spring clamped to a rod so its top end cannot move. The
movie actually consists of a series of still “photos” showing
the spring stretching as more and more mass is added to its
Your task in this activity is to verify Hooke’s Law for a spring and determine its spring constant, k. Before answering
questions, open the file in QuickTime Player. To “view” it, just advance frame-by-frame using
the right arrow key (→) on your keyboard. Then answer the following questions. Note: Assume that the center of the
black band at the bottom end of the spring in the first frame of the movie (as shown in Figure 1) is the origin of a
conventional x-y coordinate system.
1. Preliminary Questions
Note: Read chapters 11 and 14 in your text, “Equili...
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