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For this investigation I have been asked to find out how different masses on a spring effect the extension when the springs are in parallel, series and on a single spring.

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Introduction

Investigation into Spring Constants

Physics

Planning

Aim

For this investigation I have been asked to find out how different masses on a spring effect the extension when the springs are in parallel, series and on a single spring.

Key factors

Independent variables:

  • Extension of spring

Dependent variable

  • Mass on spring(s)

Controlled variable  

  • Springs

The range of readings that I am going to take will be from 0kg to 0.50kg this is because it will give me a good set of data to work with.

 I will increase the mass by half a kilogram each time.

To make sure I get good accurate fair results I will repeat the process at least 3 times.

When I do repeat the process I will make sure that I leave all the equipment as it is and not replace bits or add or remove components.

To make sure that I don’t have to replace any components, I will before I start the test make sure that all my equipment is working correctly and properly calibrated to the range of readings that I will take in the test.

Prediction

I predict that the extension of a spring will be proportional to its load during its elastic region and that when the load of the spring is doubled so will the extension of the spring; this can then be used to find the spring constant.

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Middle

0.219

0.219

0.216

0.600

5.886

0.250

0.259

0.265

0.258

0.700

6.867

0.291

0.299

0.299

0.296

0.800

7.848

0.332

0.334

0.341

0.336

0.900

8.829

0.371

0.380

0.348

0.366

1.000

9.810

0.423

0.419

0.419

0.420

The extension of one spring

Extension (m)

Mass (kg)

Force (N)

Test 1

Test 2

Test 3

Averages

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.000

0.100

0.981

0.070

0.076

0.080

0.075

0.200

1.962

0.150

0.161

0.161

0.157

0.300

2.943

0.220

0.240

0.242

0.234

0.400

3.924

2.990

0.322

0.326

1.213

0.500

4.905

0.378

0.409

0.409

0.399

0.600

5.886

0.461

0.489

0.494

0.481

0.700

6.867

0.541

0.566

0.564

0.557

0.800

7.848

0.662

0.642

0.652

0.652

0.900

8.829

0.701

0.731

0.732

0.721

1.000

9.810

0.801

0.800

0.799

0.800

The extension by two springs in series

Extension (m)

Mass (kg)

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Conclusion

Evaluation

I obtained very accurate results from this experiment and there was only one anomalous result' this was for the single spring at a mass of O.9kg (see graph); this must have been due to a random error. All other average results were within O.OO5m of the line of best fit that is shown on the x-axis error bars on the graphs. An average of three readings was taken to decrease the chance of random errors in the results.

The method used in this experiment has many limitations that cannot be overcome easily. For example, the metre rule is very inaccurate however since large distances are being measured a device such as a vernier scale cannot be used. The parallax error is also a very large error in this experiment and this could be overcome by using a mirror behind the spring when it is being measured and this can be used to line up the pointers, this would greatly decrease the amount of parallax error but would not eliminate it completely.

I also recorded the compressive force; it was exactly the same as the extension so I didn’t put it in my results table.

The limitations of the accuracy in this experiment were discussed in the section called Accuracy above.

Will Trawin

2003

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