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An investigation into the time period of a mass-spring oscillating system.

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Introduction

Nicholas Moore 11Mc Group Q

An investigation into the time period of a mass-spring oscillating system

Contents

  • Pages 2-3        Plan
  • Page 4        Results
  • Pages 5-9        Analysis
  • Page 10        Evaluation & Bibliography

Plan

In this experiment we will investigate the time period of a mass-spring oscillating system. Oscillation is the regular movement of a mass back and forth; from one direction to another e.g. a simple pendulum swinging back and forth. In this experiment, we will investigate the time period of a mass-spring oscillating system, which oscillates up and down. This motion is called simple harmonic motion.

        For this experiment we will need to use the following apparatus in order to achieve the desired results: image00.png

Method: set up the apparatus as shown in the diagram.

  • Use the clamp to secure the spring so the top hook does not move about as this could affect the results.
  • Take a 100g mass hook, with 9 100g masses.
  • Start with just the mass hook, and pull down the mass on the spring. Do not pull it so far down so it would jump up high in the air, or so that when it compresses upwards, it does not become fully compressed, as this will also affect the results adversely.
  • Let go, and use a stopwatch to time 20 oscillations. You do not need to start timing at the moment you let go; instead you can start timing when the mass reaches either bottom or top of its oscillations, and then start timing.
  • When twenty oscillations have completed then stop timing.
  • Then repeat the method but add on a 100g mass.
  • Repeat this three times for each measurement of mass, and then find the average of each set of results.
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Middle

400

17.05

17.01

16.99

17.016

500

18.84

18.85

18.84

18.843

600

20.51

20.58

20.55

20.546

700

22.14

21.91

22.10

22.05

800

23.42

23.58

23.41

23.47

900

24.70

24.59

24.53

24.59

1000

25.51

25.53

25.57

25.536

Mass on spring(g)

Time Period

Difference in time period

100

0.4005

200

0.58

0.1795

300

0.74

0.16

400

0.8508

0.1108

500

0.94215

0.09135

600

1.0273

0.08515

700

1.1025

0.0752

800

1.1735

0.071

900

1.2295

0.056

1000

1.2768

0.0473

Analysis

image01.png

image02.png

The two graphs above show how the time period of the mass-spring system is increasing as the mass on the spring increases. This proves my

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Conclusion

However, all in all, the experiment went well considering the limitations of the apparatus we had. I could possibly have narrowed down the gaps between masses by using a 50g mass to obtain a larger set of results (150g, 200g, 250g etc.) but I believe using 100g pieces gives sufficient results to show how the time period of a mass-spring system changes as mass increases. A better timing system would, however, improve my results to make them more accurate at showing the time period. I could use a laser tripwire system linked to a computer, so when I wanted to start timing, I would start the oscillating system going, then when the wire was tripped for the first time, it would start the timer, and when it was tripped again it would stop the stopwatch. That way, I could accurately find out the time period for a mass-spring system.

To extend this work I could investigate the effect of the stiffness of a spring on the time period, using the same mass each time for different stiffnesses of spring but performing the experiment in the same way.

Bibliography:

  • http://www.ncvs.org/vpt/equation/chapter4/
  • http://www.infoline.ru/g23/5495/Physics/English/pend_txt.htm

...read more.

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