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Determine which of the two methods of finding Hooke's law is more accurate.

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Introduction

Spring Experiment Aim: To determine which of the two methods of finding Hooke's law is more accurate. Things, which might affect this, are: � Downward force applied to spring. � Spring material. � Length of spring. � No. Of coils in spring. � Diameter of spring material. � Cross sectional area of spring. I have chosen to look at the effect of the weight applied. Diagram: Equipment - Clamp Stand, spring, rule, 100g weights. Theory: My theory is that the greater the weight applied to the spring, the further the spring will stretch. This is because extension is proportional to load and so if load increases so does extension and so stretching distance. X F Extension Load F = kx where k = spring constant Extension = New length - Original length I will see if my theory is right by using Hooke's law, which states that extension is proportional to the downward force acting on the spring. Method: For my first experiment I will basically attach a spring to a clamp stand, then place weights onto the bottom of the spring, after placing each weight onto the spring I will steady the spring as to get an accurate reading, then using a rule I can read off the extension of the spring in mm. ...read more.

Middle

So to get rid of this error I have decided to time 20 oscillations and then divide the result by 20 this will reduce the experimental error. I will use the same amount of weights as I did for the first experiment and again I will repeat the experiment 3 times and then take an average to improve the reliability. For safety, due to the mini experiment to find out the elastic limit of the spring there is not much danger of exceeding that. The only danger is if the spring snapped. Due to repetition using lots of weights. Results: First Experiment: Load (g) Extension (mm) Average (mm) Exp1 Exp2 Exp3 100 50 49 51 50 200 90 92 93 91.6 300 135 137 137 136.3 400 180 180 182 180.6 500 220 225 224 223 600 265 270 269 268 700 310 308 309 309 Second Experiment: Mass (g) Period (T) 20 oscillations (secs) Average (secs) Exp 1 Exp2 Exp3 100 8.16 8.03 8.18 8.12 200 11.65 11.69 11.68 11.67 300 14.00 14.06 14.07 14.04 400 16.18 16.33 16.10 16.20 500 18.17 18.07 18.05 18.09 600 19.80 19.66 19.67 19.71 700 20.63 20.59 20.65 20.62 Average ...read more.

Conclusion

However it occurred to me as the extension increased the difference between results rose slightly this could be as the spring was nearing its limit of proportionality. This shows that my results for this test support Hooke's Law well, which proves my prediction to be correct. The preliminary test, which I had carried out also, helped in this area as if the elastic limit had been included in my results they would have been inaccurate for taking an average result. The tests also helped with any safety concerns, as there was very little danger of the springs breaking if the elastic limit was not breached. In conclusion I am pleased with my results and feel they support each other as well as the laws they were based on. However if the experiment were to be carried out again changes could be made to reduce experimental error. In the first test the ruler suspended by the spring could have been set vertically by using a plumb line. Also a pointer on the spring would help in gathering the information more accurately. If the measurements were to be taken even more accurately an ultra sonic measuring device to measure the extension to a very accurate degree. ...read more.

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