• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

An Investigation into Hooke's Law - The aim of this experiment is to find out if the amount of weight applied to an elastic or stretchable object is proportional to the amount the object's length increases by when the weight is applied.

Extracts from this document...


Michael South                                Hookes Law                 

An Investigation into Hooke’s Law


The aim of this experiment is to find out if the amount of weight applied to an elastic or stretchable object is proportional to the amount the object’s length increases by when the weight is applied.

        Since Hooke’s law is famous, and is used a lot, I have many resources and researchable information available to use. I took this from a website; http://www.efunda.com/formulae/solid_mechanics/mat_mechanics/hooke.cfm

“Robert Hooke, who in 1676 stated,

The power (Sic.) of any springy body is in the same proportion with the extension.

He announced the birth of elasticity. Hooke's statement expressed mathematically is,


where F is the applied force (and not the power, as Hooke mistakenly suggested), u is the deformation of the elastic body subjected to the force F, and k is the spring constant (i.e. the ratio of previous two parameters).”

The equation will be very useful in calculating the change in size, and for preparing my hypothesis. I took this from http://www.tiscali.co.uk/reference/encyclopaedia/hutchinson/m0021767.html.

Elasticity (physics)

In physics, the ability of a solid to recover its shape once deforming forces (stresses modifying its dimensions or shape) are removed. An elastic material obeys Hooke's law, which states that its deformation is proportional to the applied stress up to a certain point, called the elastic limit, beyond which additional stress will deform it permanently. Elastic materials include metals and rubber. However, all materials have some degree of elasticity.

...read more.



These are the equipment pieces id need to use:

  • 30cm Ruler
  • Spring with hooks at each end.
  • Retort stand and clamp
  • Varied Selection of weights
  • Weight holder with hook at the end.



  • Collect and set up apparatus as shown in diagram.
  • Measure the spring’s original length.
  • Place required amount of weight on weight holder
  • Measure the spring’s new length.
  • Record results in suitable table
  • Remove weights and start experiment again with different amount of weights.

As a safety precaution I will ensure the spring is not stretched so much it could fly off and injure someone’s eye.


I predict that I will find that the more weight that is added, the greater the extension of the spring will be. The change in weight will be proportional to the change in the length of the spring. I think this will happen because the greater the mass (measured in Kilograms, or Kg for short) an object has the greater the weight (measured in Newton’s, or N for short) it will have. The force of gravity pulls the object toward the ground with greater force and speed the greater the mass it has. If an object is attached to an elastic or stretchable object, and left to hang freely, it will be pulled toward the Earth’s centre of gravity.

...read more.


Human error would lead to inaccurate readings.If the measuring device was damaged, bent, or not calibrated correctly this would lead to inaccurate results.If the spring was oscillating, or vibrating this would lead to the measurements continuously changing.

I could make the experiment more reliable by making sure the spring was not moving or vibrating in any way during measuring. I could make sure I measured from the same angle (as close as I can get to the same angle each time) to rule out parallax errors. I would make sure that the measuring device was intact, calibrated correctly and/or straight before use. I would also ensure that my spring was not damaged in any way, with the use of a magnifying glass or other enhanced viewing apparatus. I did not encounter any anomalous results in this experiment.

        I believe that this method was the most appropriate as there aren’t any ways of measuring a spring’s extension that differs greatly from this experiment. I have gained enough evidence from this experiment to support my conclusion.         

        To gain further knowledge and evidence for Hooke’s law, an experiment where multiple springs are used, and elastic bodies made from different materials than metal, for example, an elastic band are used to see if Hooke’s law works in differing circumstances.

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Waves & Cosmology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Waves & Cosmology essays

  1. Experiment B11: Measuring focal length of lenses

    the graph to get some readings for further calculation, and then only the mean focal length of the combined lens is found. The focal length of the convex lens and that of the combined lens are used to find the focal length of the concave lens afterwards.

  2. The aim of this investigation is to examine the effect on the spring constant ...

    During the experiments, I will not actually measure the extension however, I will instead measure the total length of the spring(s) and then subtract the original length of spring(s) to obtain a measurement of the extension. Due to the low-tech nature of the equipment available, each of the experiments will

  1. Does a rubber band obey Hooke's law?

    * I made sure I added an equal number of weights each time. * I made sure I double-checked my readings. * I made sure that there were no movement of the apparatus while I was conducting the experiment. * I made sure that I waited for the rubber band to stop moving after adding each weight.

  2. What factors affect the period of a Baby Bouncer?

    y � ? x) = 1 / (12cm � 300g) = 25 Springs composed of different materials will have a range of different spring constants. If the line in Graph (iii) was extended significantly, at some point the straight line would break down.

  1. Investigation on how putting springs in series and parallel affects their extension.

    I found the gradient of my lines of best fit by dividing the highest value reached on the force axis by the highest value reached on the extension axis. I have drawn the lines from which I calculated the gradients of my lines of best fit onto my graph.

  2. Investigate stretching using Hooke's Law.

    75mm 0.5N 77mm 2mm 75mm 1.0N 80mm 5mm 75mm 1.5N 84mm 9mm 75mm 2.0N 88mm 13mm 75mm 2.5N 94mm 19mm 75mm 3.0N 104mm 29mm 75mm 3.5N 111mm 36mm 75mm 4.0N 113mm 38mm 75mm 4.5N 122mm 47mm 75mm 5.0N 133mm 58mm 75mm 5.5N 144mm 69mm 75mm 6.0N 156mm 78mm 75mm 6.5N

  1. Physics Investigation on Hook's Law.

    The key factors in my experiment are the weights and the spring. To get accurate results, I have to control these factors by putting on the weights gently on to the spring. Also not to vary the Newton weights, by adding them proportionally.

  2. Investigating Hooke's Law

    I will also take the length of the spring before the investigation is carried out so that I have something to go on and find an extension from at the start, also I will use the same spring and not change the spring half way between the investigations to ensure that results obtained are precise.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work